Man City have the most expensive average starting XI in Europe at £560m, while Man Utd are third

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Man City have the most expensive starting XI in Europe at £560m, while rivals United place third at £413m behind PSG… with the French giants the only non-Premier League team to break top six

  • Manchester City have on average the most expensive starting XI in Europe
  • PSG and Manchester United complete the top three but are over £100m behind
  • Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal complete a Premier League dominated top six
  • Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur only feature outside of the top 10
  • Figures come from CIES study based on starting XIs throughout 2022-23 season 

Manchester City lead the way among Europe’s big leagues in having the most expensively assembled starting XI across the campaign so far.

The Premier League champions have so far averaged a starting XI costing around £560m in a CIES study based on fixtures played up to October 26, in a top six that is largely dominated by clubs from England.

Given their relative financial muscle, City have tended to steer away from paying headline grabbing fees on major stars, with the exception of Jack Grealish’s £100m move from Aston Villa last year.

Manchester City top the list of having the most expensive team despite finding a bargain over the summer in the £50m transfer of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund

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Neymar and Kylian Mbappe make up £361million of Paris Saint-Germain's starting XI costs

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe make up £361million of Paris Saint-Germain’s starting XI costs

Antony arrived at Manchester United for a high price of around £86million over the summer

Antony arrived at Manchester United for a high price of around £86million over the summer

Instead Pep Guardiola’s outfit have consistently bought many of their first-team stars costing between £50m and £60m such as Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and summer arrival Erling Haaland

Yet they are way ahead of any of their European rivals when it comes to fielding a costly starting XI, with Paris Saint-Germain closest to them with a team costing around £121m cheaper at £439m – although much of that is made up of the world record £198m paid for Neymar and the second largest fee ever paid of £163m for Kylian Mbappe.

City’s local rivals Manchester United complete the top three at £413m, bumped up by the £200million spent on transfers during the summer as part of Erik ten Hag’s revolution on new first-team stars including Antony at £86million, Casemiro at around £70m from Real Madrid while Lisandro Martinez arrived as a centre-back from Ajax at £51m. 

AVERAGE STARTING XI COSTS

1. Manchester City £560m

2. Paris Saint-Germain £439m

3. Manchester United  £413m

4. Liverpool £352m

5. Chelsea £338m 

6. Arsenal £329m

 7. Real Madrid £318m

8. Barcelona £287m

9. Juventus £258m

10. Bayern Munich £253m

11. Newcastle United £221m

12. Atletico Madrid £216m

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13. Tottenham Hotspur £198m

14. Napoli £196m 

15. Aston Villa £182m

16. Wolverhampton Wanderers £174m

17. West Ham United £171m

18. Leeds United £163m

19. Borussia Dortmund £162m

20. Leicester City £155m

*Full list from CIES

Gabriel Jesus was one of the big names coming in to the Arsenal starting XI over the summer

Gabriel Jesus was one of the big names coming in to the Arsenal starting XI over the summer

Liverpool feature high up in fourth, having spent £85m on Darwin Nunez to boost their attack

Liverpool feature high up in fourth, having spent £85m on Darwin Nunez to boost their attack

Raheem Sterling has come into the Chelsea team this term after arriving from Manchester City

Raheem Sterling has come into the Chelsea team this term after arriving from Manchester City

PSG are the only club from outside the Premier League to break into the top six, with Liverpool (£352m), Chelsea (£338m) and Arsenal (£329m) also rounding up the top of the list.

According to the study the figures are average representative of all the starting XIs featured throughout the current.

The rest of Europe’s big hitters make up the top 10, including Real Madrid (£318m), Barcelona (£287m), Juventus (£258m) and Bayern Munich (£253m).

Many expect Newcastle United (£221m) to flex their new found financial muscle following their Saudi backed takeover last year, and already they are starting to feature high up in the table.

Midfielder Bruno Guimaraes has made a huge impression on the Newcastle United starting XI

Midfielder Bruno Guimaraes has made a huge impression on the Newcastle United starting XI

This is despite Eddie Howe having spent sensibly in his two transfer windows as manager, with Bruno Guimaraes arriving for around £38m last January in their main headline arrival that would have influenced their first-team selection.

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Alex Isak of course arrived from Real Sociedad for a cool £63m in the summer but having only started three games due to a hamstring injury will have unlikely had a major impact on the Newcastle’s overall placing of 11th.

Despite being recognised as one of the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Six’, Tottenham Hotspur (£198m) only feature down in 13th behind Atletico Madrid, underlining just how well Antonio Conte’s side have competed with the Premier League’s biggest clubs to break into the Champions League despite their prudent approach to the transfer market. 

Tottenham's low placing on the list can be factored in by the fine work made to bring star striker Harry Kane through the club's academy system

Tottenham’s low placing on the list can be factored in by the fine work made to bring star striker Harry Kane through the club’s academy system

The north London club though do benefit from star striker Harry Kane having come through the academy while fellow key man Son Heung-min signed for the club for just £22m in 2015 before transfer fees escalated. 

When adjusted for the most expensive, City still top the list at £625m this season following their 3-1 win over Brighton earlier in October.

Man Utd climb above PSG into second while Chelsea leapfrog Liverpool who complete a top five.

CIES’s figures include transfers where eventual add-ons are also factored in regardless of any down payments made. 

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