Real Madrid signings from Premier League ranked as £44m Liverpool man made priority target

Real Madrid signings from Premier League ranked as £44m Liverpool man made priority target

Andy Robertson could become the latest player to leave the Premier League for Real Madrid, with Liverpool signings almost always faring well at the Bernabeu.

Liverpool could be in for a £44m windfall on a player they essentially swapped for Kevin Stewart. Would Robertson be more Owen or Alonso?


26) Eden Hazard (Chelsea, 2019, £88.5m)
Based on the initial fee alone, Real Madrid have paid £12.64m per goal, £7.4m per assist, £1.2m per appearance, £26,000 per minute and £4.9m per different documented injury for Eden Hazard. Then the additional £35m Chelsea have received in add-ons for La Liga and Champions League trophies – Hazard’s part in which was 16 games and 83 minutes respectively – must be taken into account. And all of a sudden, committing £150m on an overplayed 28-year-old doesn’t seem like shrewd business.


25) Jonathan Woodgate (Newcastle, 2004, £13.4m)
When the apocalypse eradicates the human race and AI is left to govern the wasteland, one vestige from the past will remain forever enshrined. There is no future timeline in which Jonathan Woodgate’s Real Madrid debut is not ubiquitous. The centre-half’s subsequent 13 appearances were not much better and suitably unlucky.


24) Julien Faubert (West Ham, 2009, loan)
Imagine having the temerity to not play all that often for West Ham, join Real Madrid on loan, mix up your days and miss a training session,  and then be pictured resting your eyes on the bench during a game. Julien Faubert only managed two of them himself, coming on as a substitute in a couple of La Liga wins before heading back to east London, never to be believed when he tells people he used to work at the Bernabeu.

It’s Julien Faubert’s birthday today. You remember him.

The Most Unlikely Real Madrid Signing Ever. The disbelief on Di Stefano’s face is sensational.

— A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) August 1, 2021


23) Brahim Diaz (Manchester City, 2019, £15.5m)
Making almost six times as many appearances for perennial loan side AC Milan than actual parent club Real Madrid was perhaps not what Brahim Diaz envisaged when he flew the Manchester City nest. Man Utd never did come calling.


22) Michael Essien (Chelsea, 2012, loan)
A loan spell ultimately memorable for only two things, both of which occurred as far away from the pitch as possible: Michael Essien continually calling Jose Mourinho “Daddy” during an opening press conference; and just two teammates turning up for the midfielder’s 30th birthday party. Those moments are more memorable and meaningful than any of the 35 appearances.


21) Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, 2011, loan)
With Gonzalo Higuain out injured and Jose Mourinho, according to The Guardian, having ‘little faith in Karim Benzema’, emergency striker cover was sought by Real in early 2011. Emmanuel Adebayor was the name drawn out of the hat. He scored in the semi-final and featured in the winning El Clasico final of the Copa del Rey, while also grabbing a hat-trick against Almeria and two goals against Tottenham. The latter were so impressed they themselves would sign him on loan that summer.


20) Thomas Gravesen (Everton, 2005, £2.5m)
“We realised in the first matches he perhaps wasn’t the right player at that moment,” former Real president Ramon Calderon later recalled of Thomas Gravesen. “A nice guy – but he did not succeed here.” David Moyes still reckons they signed the wrong bald Everton midfielder.


19) Jerzy Dudek (Liverpool, 2007, free)
The European champion only played 12 games – of which eight were in the Copa del Rey – over four years at the Bernabeu. Jerzy Dudek conceded 18 goals and kept three clean sheets. Yet he was beloved by the fanbase and squad, receiving a guard of honour from his teammates after being substituted in his final appearance.


18) Gabriel Heinze (Man Utd, 2007, £8.15m)
Sir Alex Ferguson “would not sell them a virus”, but if the only viable alternative involves shaking hands with Liverpool then he will at least consider doing business. Gabriel Heinze played 60 games for Real, won La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana and then promptly left.


17) Michael Owen (Liverpool, 2004, £8m plus Antonio Nunez)
“I watched it in my living room in Madrid. I left Liverpool, not because I disliked Liverpool, but for a quick new experience, a quick fling, and that has happened while I have been away, I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ You can’t not have mixed emotions about it.” Michael Owen scored 16 goals in 45 games and sampled the Real life, but he will always have fewer Champions League winner’s medals than Antonio Nunez.

David Beckham and former Liverpool player Michael Owen


16) Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea, 2022, free)
It has been a strange sort of debut season for Antonio Rudiger, from hoovering up secondary trophies in the Copa del Rey, Super Cup and Club World Cup, to doing weird things to Erling Haaland but equally missing out on Champions League glory and falling well off the pace in La Liga.


15) Jose Antonio Reyes (Arsenal, 2006, loan)
Temporarily swapping places with Julio Baptista, Jose Antonio Reyes played 38 games, scored seven goals, won La Liga and upstaged David Beckham and Roberto Carlos on their final appearances for Real by scoring twice from the bench against Real Mallorca to secure the title ahead of Barcelona.


14) Javier Hernandez (Man Utd, 2014, loan)
Difficult as it is to endear yourself to a team and supporter base – particularly Real Madrid’s – in a single loan season, an 88th-minute winner in a Champions League quarter-final second leg with Atletico Madrid, which just so happens to be the only goal of the entire tie, ought to do it.


13) Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, 2010, £6.7m)
It takes a certain kind of personality to play for Jose Mourinho at not one, not two, not four but three different clubs. Maniche and Nemanja Matic have both achieved that rare hat-trick, but Ricardo Carvalho might just be The Special Fella’s favourite. Mourinho signed the 32-year-old centre-half in his first Bernabeu season and they left together in summer 2013, a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana winner’s medal in their respective collections.


12) Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth, 2009, £18.8m)
Phenomenal work to swap managers from Tony Adams to Juande Ramos while moving from Portsmouth to Real Madrid. Something does not quite add up there. Adams was “100% confident” he would get to spend the £20m proceeds of a January 2009 sale and he certainly did; Hayden Mullins joined for £2m. Lassana Diarra, meanwhile, kept admin to a blissful minimum by taking Mahamadou Diarra’s shirt number before playing more than 100 games and winning three trophies.


11) Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal, 1999, £22.3m)
Seven goals in 31 games was not an ideal record for a striker signed at such immense cost, but two of those came in either leg of a Champions League semi-final victory over Bayern Munich, with another in a 3-0 El Clasico La Liga win. Then Real made almost all of their money back by selling to PSG.


10) Arjen Robben (Chelsea, 2007, £24m)
Cutting inside and shooting through customs at Gatwick Airport, Arjen Robben was only at Real Madrid for two years before the circle of life consumed him and room had to be made for Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. But the flying Dutchman scored 13 goals and grabbed a La Liga title before his departure.


9) Ruud van Nistelrooy (Man Utd, 2006, £10.2m)
Those pesky knees and the aches and pains that come with operating as a human beyond the age of 30 somewhat undermined Ruud van Nistelrooy’s time at Real Madrid. Yet between the physical struggles he still managed to win two La Liga titles and the Pichichi, scoring at a rate of well over a goal every other game.

🔙🇳🇱 Ruud van Nistelrooy for Real Madrid.

🏟 104 games.
⚽️ 64 goals.
🎯 16 assists.

96 minutes per goal contribution.

— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) April 30, 2023


8) David Beckham (Man Utd, 2003, £24.5m)
It might not quite be enough to describe David Beckham’s move to Real Madrid as a slight marketing success. Even that does a disservice to the nuts and bolts of the most Galactico of four-year spells, which delivered a La Liga title and planted a seed in the young mind of Jude Bellingham, who was born 11 days after Beckham joined.


7) Xabi Alonso (Liverpool, 2009, £30m)
The Gareth Barry-shaped fractures in Rafael Benitez’s relationship with Xabi Alonso finally proved too problematic in summer 2009, when Liverpool could not hold onto their crown jewel any longer. Alonso found a welcoming home at the Bernabeu and promptly stayed for half a decade, picking up five trophies, winning the first league title of his career and bowing out with another Champions League medal in his back pocket.


6) Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea, 2018, £35m)
That 2022 Champions League final performance alone went some way to justifying the La Liga record expense for a keeper which Real laid down after the World Cup in Russia. Thibaut Courtois counts that among his eight trophies for Los Blancos, with only two keepers in possession of more than his 91 clean sheets for the club.


5) Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool, 2009, £5m)
Between leaving in 2006 and returning three years later, Alvaro Arbeloa developed into the sort of reliable defender Real could depend on in their post-Michel Salgado phase, in turn allowing for Sergio Ramos to be repurposed as a centre-half. The former Liverpool player was never flashy but racked up 233 appearances and eight trophies.


4) Steve McManaman (Liverpool, 1999, free)
The first player Real Madrid signed from the Premier League, it is funny to think there are people who only know Steve McManaman for trying to make Fletch happen and not because he won two Champions Leagues, scoring in the final of his first. Sensing “a chance to test myself in a top European league”, McManaman subsequently claimed eight pieces of silverware in four years.


3) Gareth Bale (Tottenham 2013, £86m)
The eventual disrespect was mutual, funny as WALES. GOLF. MADRID was. But a) Real fans started it, and b) that came after Gareth Bale built a legacy which included making more appearances than Luis Figo and Ferenc Puskas, scoring more goals than Ronaldo and Fernando Morientes, scoring more goals per game than Raul, providing more assists than Beckham and winning more trophies than Zinedine Zidane. And Bale scored a better Champions League final goal than the French Tim Sherwood ever did.


2) Luka Modric (Tottenham, 2012, £30m)
Once voted as the worst signing of the season by Spanish newspaper Marca, Luka Modric replicated both the slow start he had endured at Tottenham, as well as the ultimate blossoming into the phenomenal heartbeat of a wonderful team. The Croatian has won five Champions Leagues, playing in and running the final each time, with three La Liga titles, a Ballon d’Or and countless Harry Redknapp anecdotes to boot.


1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd, 2009, £80m)
After months of unseemly eyelash-fluttering from both sides, and standard flirtation talk about “modern slavery” and the like, Real and Ronaldo finally sealed a deal club and player were born to make. And it was every bit as good as they could have expected: 15 trophies, a ludicrous club-record 450 goals and, somehow, a profit on what was a world-record signing when they finally sold the Portuguese at 33. Not every Galactico works out – not many, in fact – but this one was an unmitigated success by every possible positive metric.

Video Ranking rumored kits for the 2023-24 season 👕