CIES Football Observatory is back with another interesting post, this time revealing the teams with the most expensively assembled squads in the beautiful game. To little surprise, the Premier League dominates this list, but there are a few surprises.
First of all, the study takes a look at money invested in transfer fees for players currently in the squad. This does not take into consideration the duration, with some spending large portions of this money recently and in quick succession, namely Chelsea, while others might have assembled their current crop of players over an extended period.
Additionally, as pointed out by the CIES, add-ons are included in the total "regardless of effective payment". As a result, it comes as no surprise to see Chelsea in the top three following their unrivaled splurge under Todd Boehly.
However, the London giants are not number one on this list. That honor goes to Manchester United, who spent a whopping €1.15 billion to assemble their current squad. While Erik ten Hag has spent less than half of that figure, the Dutchman has also invested heavily since taking over at the Red Devils.
The Manchester heavyweights are one of only four clubs to have invested €1 billion or more on their current players alongside Chelsea (€1.134BN), who are second, Manchester City (€1.042BN) in third, and PSG (€1BN) in fourth.
Arsenal wrap up the top five with an investment of €836M in their squad, most of which was signed by incumbent manager Mikel Arteta. However, sixth-placed Tottenham are not far behind with an expenditure of €829M.
Liverpool (€770M), Real Madrid (€708M), Newcastle (€661M), and West Ham (€505M) complete the top 10 respectively. This means that not only were three of the four clubs to spend €1BN or more from the Premier League but eight of the top 10 spenders were also English top-flight sidesl.
The Saudi Pro League also made its way into the top 20, with Saudi giants Al Hilal (€382M) coming in at 18th. Oddly enough, the Middle-Eastern club placed one spot ahead of the iconic Barcelona (€375M) but were right below Atletico Madrid (€387M).
The CIES post also breaks down the expenditure by position, with Liverpool spending the most on goalkeepers (€73M) mainly due to the acquisition of Alisson. Manchester United's current crop of defenders cost the most on this list (€383M) while investing the second-most on their current forwards (€411M), behind only PSG (€557M). Meanwhile, no club on this list has spent more on midfielders than Real Madrid (€447M). Check out the top 20 spenders below.