Premier League’s Most Expensive Teams Combined: North vs South
As Manchester City and Liverpool battle it out yet again at the top of the Premier League table, regardless of which team will come out on top the winner will seal a five season-long stint of league champions from the North of England. Not since Leicester City’s heroics in 2016 has a side in the South half of the country clinched the win.
As the North continue to stretch their dominance, here at Cheeky Punter we have taken a look into each region’s hottest Premier League side based on their transfer value. We take a look into why the teams in the North have been able to establish such dominance in the domestic leagues, whilst teams from the South have struggled to make an impact.
In selecting the sides a starting eleven and seven subs were chosen to replicate a game scenario, and within this squad, valuations were calculated. With the team assembled from the North significantly more expensive, who made the cut for each side and who would you back?
Premier League North
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Premier League North squad is dominated by players from Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. With those three teams, in particular, leading the way for Northern clubs, it is no surprise that they boast the Premier League’s most expensive assets with the next best Northern side in Newcastle United fighting relegation alongside Leeds United and Everton.
Despite Newcastle’s recent Saudi investment and January transfer window recruitment, no Newcastle player makes the squad of 18 for now, however, expect this to change overcoming seasons with Eddie Howe set to be given a bumper transfer budget to spend in the Summer.
Of the 18 man squad, half of the entire squad (nine) consists of players from 2020-21 Premier League champions Manchester City, with the East Manchester side’s financial dominance demonstrated in their on-pitch performances. Liverpool and Manchester take an almost even split for the remainder of the squad with title challengers Liverpool providing five players across the squad, and Manchester United four.
Despite being two of their team’s standout players, there was no place for either Cristiano Ronaldo or, perhaps even more surprisingly, Virgil van Dijk in the squad for the Premier League North team following research by Cheeky Punter. Neither of the two are valued high enough to break into the squad with van Dijk valued lower than the five other defenders named in the squad, and Cristiano Ronaldo failing to break into the six most expensive forwards across the starting XI and bench.
In goal, it is the battle of the Brazilians as Manchester City’s Ederson and Liverpool’s Alisson Becker are named in the Premier League North squad. Ederson only makes the bench though as Alisson takes the No.1 shirt in front of his international compatriot. Valued at £9m higher, Alisson takes the sport between the sticks despite Ederson being a key figure within Manchester City’s 2020-21 Premier League winning side.
In defence, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Dias, Raphael Varane, and Andrew Robertson make up the starting back four with a combined valuation of over £250 million leaving Virgil van Dik’s £49.5 million valuation not enough to make the side. On the bench, Manchester City’s Jao Cancelo provides defensive cover at a £54 million valuation that keeps him on the substitute’s bench.
In Midfield, Bruno Fernandes breaks up a Manchester City financial dominance in the heart of the team as Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish complete the midfield three, whilst Bernado Silva and Rodri have to settle for a place on the bench in a midfield quota with a combined valuation of a staggering £364.5 million. Fernandes and De Bruyne top the midfield valuations by some way at £81 million each and remain the most expensive midfield selections of the Premier League North side.
In the forward positions, unsurprisingly the highest valued player on the team is this season’s Premier League’s leading goal scorer, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, with a valuation of £90 million. He is joined by Manchester City’s pairing of Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling who complete the Premier League North XI. On the bench, it is Manchester United’s Jaden Sancho and Marcus Rashford who accompany Liverpool’s Sadio Mane to complete a forwards rota that tops £450 million.
Premier League South
Despite there remaining a significant dominant team represented in the Premier League South squad, similarly to Manchester City’s dominance of the Northern counterpart, there is a notable increase in clubs represented in the team from the South region. Whilst Chelsea are represented by eight of the players in the 18 man squad, there is much more variation throughout the squad with representation across Tottenham Hotspur (three), Leicester City (three), Arsenal (two), Aston Villa (one), and West Ham (one) respectively.
Leicester City fans in particular will be pleased to see such representation within their squad as Brendan Rodgers continues to develop their young foxes after coming in to steady the ship. After narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification last season, injuries have hampered any resurgence in 2021-22 however, make no mistake about the quality of the squad at the King Power stadium.
Whilst there are less notable omissions across the Premier League South squad, there are some surprise inclusions within the side. There is Leicester representation at centre-back and in midfield at the expense of European experience within both the Tottenham and, in particular, Chelsea squads. Whilst Aston Villa representation is a surprise as deputy between the sticks with France captain Hugo Lloris and football’s most expensive goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga both missing out. Arrizabalaga misses out after seeing his market valuation plummet after a disappointing time at Stamford Bridge, most recently failing to save a penalty (and missing his own) in a penalty shootout loss to Liverpool in the League Cup Final.
Where Hugo Lloris and Kepa Arrizabalaga miss out, Edouard Mendy and Emiliano Martinez make up the goalkeeping positions with the squad for the Premier League South squad, with £28.8 million Mendy taking the starting spot.
At the heart of the PL South defence sit Leicester City’s Caglar Söyüncü and Tottenham’s Cristian Romero, with England and Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell. Arsenal’s Ben White provides the cover from the bench in a defence worth £196.2 million. Chelsea continue their dominance of the PL South side into midfield as Mason Mount and Kai Havertz take the first two places of the midfield three, with N’golo Kante providing deputy support on the bench.
Declan Rice breaks the Chelsea control in midfield with the West Ham enforcer holding the highest valuation in that position in the PL South side, at £67.5 million, as Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi accompany Kante on the bench as the midfield valuation breaks £345 million.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Chelsea’s Christan Pulisic complete the substitutes bench as they support the forward selections with a valuation just short of £100 million. Meanwhile, in the starting XI, it is Tottenham’s Harry Kane who leads the sides transfer valuation at £90 million. Teammate Heung Min-Son and Chelsea’s problematic Romelu Lukaku complete the side’s bumper front three and starting XI.