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10 most expensive transfers involving German players

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Chelsea recently confirmed the signing of RB Leipzig star forward, Timo Werner, who has heavily linked with the Blues’ Premier League rivals, Liverpool for the past six months or so. 

Although the German player’s €53 million fee, combined with a £175,000 weekly wage packet for the next five years makes it a huge outlay from Chelsea’s perspective, they’re getting a player of enormous potential in exchange. 

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After a prolonged transfer saga which saw the young striker also being linked with Bayern Munich and Liverpool, it was Chelsea who ultimately secured the 24-year-old’s signature. 

This, in turn, makes Timo Werner the most expensive German player in football history, as his move overshadowed Manchester City’s purchase of Leroy Sane four seasons ago. However, things might soon change as Sane will leave the Etihad this summer, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola confirming it. The former Schalke man has been tipped to return to Germany with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

With that said, we decided to compile a list of top 10 most expensive German players of all time. 

#10 Mats Hummels (Dortmund to Bayern Munich for €35m in 2016)

Ironically, Mats Hummels began his career at Bayern Munich’s youth academy, but due to lack of first-team opportunities, he joined their Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2009. 

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After excelling for BVB, Hummels was re-signed by Bayern in 2016, for a reported fee of €35 million. However, after just three years, he returned to the Westfalenstadion, ahead of this season. 

#9 Antonio Rudiger (Roma to Chelsea for €35m in 2017)

After excelling for Stuttgart at youth levels, Antonio Rudiger made his first-team bow in 2012. Three seasons later, the German player joined AS Roma, initially on loan, before his move was made permanent the following year. 

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The 27-year-old was snapped up by Chelsea in 2017, in a deal reported to be worth €35 million and since then, he’s been a mainstay at Stamford Bridge, amassing 105 appearances for the Blues. 

#8 Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg to PSG for €36m in 2017)

The Paris Saint-Germain star rose to prominence at Schalke, after a breakthrough season in 2011. Three years later, Julian Draxler jumped ship to Wolfsburg, albeit his stay at the Volkswagen Arena was short-lived as PSG shelled out a sum of €36 million to secure his services in January 2017. 

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After making 137 appearances for the Parisians, the German player is currently known to be angling for a move away from the Parc des Princes. 

#7 Mario Gotze (Dortmund to Bayern Munich for €37m in 2013)

Mario Gotze began his professional career at Borussia Dortmund. He made his debut in 2009, and within a couple of years, Gotze was one of the most influential players at the Signal Iduna Park. 

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In 2013-14, Bayer Munich came calling, and the German player moved to the Allianz Arena for a reported fee of €37 million. However, the dream move for Gotze didn’t work out well, and he decided to rejoin BVB in 2016. 

Recently, the club announced that they won’t be renewing Gotze’s contract, meaning he will become a free agent this summer. 

#6 Thilo Kehrer (Schalke to PSG for €37m in 2018)

Thilo Kehrer joined PSG in a €37 million deal from his boyhood club, Schalke in the summer of 2018. The versatile defender has since made 56 appearances for the Parisians. However, he missed a major chunk of the 2019-20 season due to a foot injury. 

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He’s expected to be fully fit when PSG return to action in the Champions League in August, having booked their place in the quarter-finals after seeing out Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16. 

#5 Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia to Arsenal for €41m in 2016)

Shkodran Mustafi began his senior career with Everton, but due to lack of playing time, he joined Serie A outfit Sampdoria in 2012. After a two-year spell in Italy, Valencia came calling, and the German player impressed one and all during his four-year stint at the Mestalla. 

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As a consequence, Arsenal spent €41 million on Mustafi in 2016, but since then, the centre-back has been anything but impressive. Mustafi is reportedly eager to move away from the Emirates this summer.

#4 Julian Draxler (Schalke to Wolfsburg for €43m in 2015)

The only German player to feature twice on this list, Julian Draxler earned the moniker of the ‘next big thing’ in Bundesliga after impressing at his boyhood club, Schalke, thereby prompting Wolfsburg to spend €43 million to secure his services in the summer of 2015. 

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The 26-year-old made 45 appearances for Wolfsburg, and after just one-and-a-half seasons, Draxler was sold to PSG for less than the price Wolfsburg had spent on him. 

#3 Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid to Arsenal for €47m in 2013)

When Arsenal acquired the services of Mesut Ozil in 2013 for a fee of €47 million, much was expected of the German player.

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On his day, Ozil, who has been ostracized at times by those around him, can be the best player on the planet, but in certain other matches, he simply becomes anonymous. The 31-year-old’s future at the Emirates has been up in the air, with reports stating that he could be shown the door by Arsenal hierarchy this summer. 

#2 Leroy Sane (Schalke to Manchester City for €52m in 2016)

A product of Schalke’s famed youth academy, Leroy Sane joined Manchester City in 2016 for a fee of €52 million, two years after his Bundesliga breakthrough. Four seasons and 134 appearances later, the 24-year-old is inching closer to towards a move to Bayern Munich. 

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As per recent reports, Pep Guardiola made Sane’s desire to leave the Etihad public, and this time, he could well eclipse the €52 million fee that Manchester City paid for him, to regain his place as the most expensive German player ever. 

#1 Timo Werner (RB Leipzig to Chelsea for €53m in 2020)

Until Leroy Sane’s potential move to Bayern Munich sees daylight, Timo Werner will remain at the top of this illustrious list, courtesy of his recent €53 million move to Chelsea from RB Leipzig. 

Although the 24-year-old began his playing career with his hometown club Stuttgart, the prodigious talent became a world-class player at RB Leipzig, whom he had joined in 2016. 

Subsequently, Werner would go on to become the most expensive German player of all-time, but the fee certainly looks like a bargain for a player of his potential. 

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