1. Harry Maguire, 2. Virgil van Dijk, 3. Lucas Hernandez, 4. Matthijs de Ligt, 5. Ruben Dias, 6. Aymeric Laporte, 7. Benjamin Mendy, 8. David Luiz, 9. John Stones, 10. Kyle Walker. A defender is an outfield player in association football whose major responsibility is to halt attacks and prevent the opposing side from scoring goals. Center-backs are normally seen in pairs with two full-backs to their left and right, although they can sometimes be found in trios without full-backs. Defenders are divided into four categories: center-back, sweeper, full-back, and wing-back. In most contemporary formations, the center-back and full-back positions are vital. The following article will mention the 10 most expensive defenders today.
- Harry Maguire
- Virgil van Dijk
- Lucas Hernandez
- Matthijs de Ligt
- Ruben Dias
- Aymeric Laporte
- Benjamin Mendy
- David Luiz
- John Stones
- Kyle Walker
Jacob Harry Maguire is an English professional footballer who represents Manchester United in the Premier League and the England national team.
Maguire progressed through Sheffield United’s development system before making the senior team in 2011. He played 166 professional games for the club and was named Player of the Year three times in a row, as well as three times in the PFA League One Team of the Year. He moved to Hull City for £2.5 million in 2014, and he was loaned to Wigan Athletic in 2015. He joined Leicester City for a cost of £12 million in 2017. He went to Manchester United two years later for an estimated £80 million at the top of this list of most expensive defenders and was named team captain after six months. The sum exceeds the £75 million paid by Liverpool to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in 2018, and United is hoping Maguire can have the same effect as the Dutchman at Anfield. Manchester City was also interested in recruiting Maguire, but the cost put them off.
Value: £80 million
Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is a Dutch footballer who plays as a center-back for Liverpool in the Premier League and for the Netherlands national team. Van Dijk is regarded as one of the most expensive defenders in the world, with power, leadership, and aerial skill. He is the only defender to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, as well as the Ballon d’Or and FIFA Men’s Player of the Year.
Van Dijk began his professional career with Groningen before joining Celtic in 2013, where he won the Scottish Premiership and was selected to the PFA Scotland Team of the Year in both of his seasons there, as well as winning the Scottish League Cup in the latter. He joined Southampton in 2015 before joining Liverpool for £75 million in January 2018, a then-world-record transfer cost for a defender. Van Dijk led Liverpool to consecutive UEFA Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019, winning the latter. In his first full season, he was also named PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season. Van Dijk went on to win the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, as well as the 2019–20 Premier League, ending the club’s 30-year title drought.
Value: £75 million
Lucas François Bernard Hernandez is a French professional footballer who currently plays for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the France national team as a left defender or center-back. Hernandez began his professional career with Atlético Madrid, where he made over 100 competitive games and helped the club reach the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final. In the same year, he also won the Europa League and the Super Cup. In his first season at Bayern, he won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League as part of a triple. Hernandez has been a French international since 2018, and he was a member of the victorious side in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as UEFA Euro 2020.
On March 27, 2019, Bayern Munich confirmed that Hernandez will join the club on July 1, 2019, for a club record (and Bundesliga record) cost of £68 million (€80 million), and that he would sign a five-year deal until 2024. He made his Bayern debut as an 89th-minute replacement in a DFB-Pokal first-round encounter against Energie Cottbus on August 10. Hernandez won the Champions League with his Bayern Munich colleagues on August 23, 2020.
Matthijs de Ligt
Matthijs de Ligt is a Dutch professional footballer who currently plays for Juventus in Serie A and for the Netherlands national team.
De Ligt made his senior Ajax debut in a cup match against Willem II on September 21, 2016. After 25 minutes, he scored from a corner, making him the second-youngest goalscorer in history, after Clarence Seedorf. When he began against Manchester United in the 2017 UEFA Europa League Final on May 24, he became the youngest player ever (17 years and 285 days) to participate in a major European final. De Ligt received the Golden Boy award on December 17, 2018, becoming the first defender to do so.
He helped Ajax win the domestic double and reach the Champions League semi-finals the following season, and his efforts earned him a transfer to Serie A side Juventus, where he won the Kopa Trophy in 2019. In his first season with the Turin team, he won the Serie A title. De Ligt signed a five-year deal with Serie A winners Juventus on July 18, 2019, for a sum of £67.8 million (€75 million) to be paid in five annual installments, plus €10.5 million in other charges.
Value: £67.8 million
Ruben dos Santos Gato Alves Dias is a Portuguese professional footballer who now represents Manchester City in the Premier League and the Portugal national team. Dias is noted for his power, leadership, passing, and aerial skill, and is regarded as one of the finest defenders in the world.
Dias was a product of Benfica’s youth system. In 2015, he joined Benfica B and was promoted to the senior squad in 2017, winning the Primeira Liga Young Player of the Year award. Dias’ achievements the next season helped Benfica win the league title in 2018–19 and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 2019–20, as well as being chosen to the Primeira Liga’s Team of the Year, despite making over 100 appearances.
In September 2020, he joined Manchester City in the Premier League for a reported sum of £61.64 million (€68 million), making him the second-highest fee paid by a Portuguese player leaving the local league. Dias led the team to their first UEFA Champions League final and won the league and EFL Cup in his first season. In addition, in 2021, he was awarded FWA Footballer of the Year, Manchester City Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, and UEFA Champions League Defender of the Season.
Value: £61.64 million
Aymeric Jean Louis Gérard Alphonse Laporte is a professional footballer who now for Manchester City in the Premier League and the Spanish national team. He formerly played for Athletic Bilbao and Basconia.
At the age of 16, he became only the second player born in France to play for Athletic Bilbao, following Bixente Lizarazu. He went on to make 222 competitive games for the club. Laporte joined Manchester City for a rumored sum of £57 million at the end of the winter transfer window in January 2018. (his contractual release clause amount and a record-breaking figure for both clubs). In 2019, he was a member of the team that won the first domestic triple in English men’s football.
Laporte, who was born in France, has 51 caps for his country at the junior international level and has been called up to the senior team twice but has yet to play. Laporte was chosen in Spain’s squad for UEFA Euro 2020 in 2021, after acquiring Spanish citizenship and FIFA authorization to transfer to national teams.
Value: £57 million
Benjamin Mendy is a French professional footballer who plays as a left-back for Premier League club Manchester City and the France national team. After coming through Le Havre’s youth academy, Mendy began his playing career with the club’s reserve team in 2010, eventually being promoted to the first team a year later. He remained with the club until 2013 when he joined Ligue 1 club Marseille. Mendy spent the next three seasons with Les Olympiens before leaving for Monaco, with whom he won the national championship in 2016–17.
Mendy signed a five-year deal with Premier League club Manchester City on July 24, 2017, for a reported cost of £52 million. The transfer cost broke City’s previous record for a defender, which was established ten days previously on teammate Kyle Walker. Mendy was capped by France’s young teams at the under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19, and under-21 levels before making his senior debut in 2017. He was a member of France’s World Cup-winning side in 2018. Manchester City confirmed his suspension on August 21, 2021, awaiting the outcome of a police investigation into rape claims. Mendy was detained, but on January 7, 2022, he was freed on bond.
Value: £52 million
Flamengo’s David Luiz Moreira Marinho is a Brazilian professional footballer. He is mostly a center-back, although he can also play defensive midfield.
David Luiz began his career with Vitoria and later transferred to Benfica, where he spent five seasons (three complete). He joined Chelsea in January 2011, and during the 2011–12 season, he won the UEFA Champions League. He won the UEFA Europa League the next season. He joined Paris Saint-Germain for £50 million in June 2014, a world-record sum for a defender at the time, and won all four domestic tournaments during his two seasons in France. In August 2016, he returned to Chelsea in a £30 million move. In 2019, he joined local rivals Arsenal before returning to his homeland to play for Flamengo in 2021.
Value: £50 million
John Stones is an English center-back who now plays for Manchester City in the Premier League and for the England national team. Stones started his career with Barnsley, where he made his Championship debut in March 2012 as a 17-year-old. He joined Everton in the Premier League in January 2013 for about £3 million and played 95 times in four seasons.
Stones was signed by Manchester City for £47.5 million on a six-year contract with a potential £2.5 million in add-ons on August 9, 2016, making him one of the most expensive defenders. After being listed on City’s Champions League play-off round squad registration list, which UEFA had released on their website prior to confirmation of the move, the news came soon after. Barnsley gained £6.78 million from Stones’ sale to Manchester City thanks to a 15% sell-on clause, which was the highest transfer price club had ever received.
He won the Premier League in 2018, 2019, and 2021, as well as the EFL Cup in 2018 and the FA Cup in 2019. Stones was capped by England’s young teams at the under-19, under-20, and under-21 levels before making his senior debut in May 2014. He was included in England’s teams for the UEFA Euro 2016, FIFA World Cup 2018, and Euro 2020.
Value: £47.5 million
Kyle Andrew Walker is an English footballer who plays right-back for Manchester City in the Premier League and for the England national team.
Walker, who was born and reared in Sheffield, began his career with his hometown club Sheffield United, which he joined when he was seven years old. After a loan spell at Northampton Town, he was promoted to the first team and made his full Sheffield United debut against Leyton Orient at the age of 18 years old. His efforts won him a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, but he was quickly loaned back to Sheffield United. He established his spot in Tottenham’s first squad after loan stints at Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa. He was called up to the England national team after his performances, and he made his debut against Spain.
Walker joined Manchester City for £45 million after five more seasons at Tottenham. Walker went on to win three Premier League crowns, four EFL Cup medals, and one FA Cup during his time at City. He has also represented England at UEFA Euro 2016, FIFA World Cup 2018, and UEFA Euro 2020. In 2011–12, 2016–17, and 2017–18, he was chosen to the PFA Team of the Year three times.
Value: £45 million