To say there is a lot of money in the English Premier League is an understatement of grand proportions. Some of the highest-paid players in the world ply their trade in England. But which Premier League player is paid the most?
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While still considered a sport, soccer is more of a business than ever before. This is evident across every professional league, but especially in the Premier League, where salaries for both managers and players are inordinately high relative to other major sports entities.
Heck, one look at the valuation of each franchise will give you a hint of what you're in for. Transfer fees alone encroach on $100 million, and the top stars are making their weight in gold on a daily basis. It's always a useful exercise to review who's making the most in one of the most lucrative leagues in the world, so, well, that's just what we've done.
Please note that we are factoring in only current contracts and not sponsorships or future deals that have not yet kicked in. We will also be using the salary information we find at Spotrac, which remains the most accurate database, across all sports, for the earnings of professional athletes. All figures have also been converted from euros to US dollars for your convenience.
Ready to feel bad about how much you make in comparison to these soccer studs? Good. Let's get to it!
Top 10 Highest Premier League players
10. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City ($14.7 Million)
Very few people will predict that Sergio Aguero remains on this list for much longer. The 32-year-old is working off a disastrous showing in the 2020 campaign, during which he went almost an entire calendar year without scoring a goal.
Still, there's hope this is a bit of an anomaly and not so much an age-related decline. Aguero has dealt with some injuries for Manchester City, and when given more time rest, there's a chance he resumes the type of play that earned him the moniker "Hat Trick King."
9. Anthony Martial, Manchester United ($15.8 Million)
Weakside players are extremely valuable in the Premier League. Hence why Anthony Martial is earning a superstar price point. The 25-year-old forward is a devastating playmaker from the left side of the pitch when he's given the room to operate, and boy does Manchester United given him the room to operate.
Don't be surprised if and when his price point rises higher, either. He plays at an otherworldly level for someone who won't turn 26 until the end of 2021. His best years are still ahead of him."Anthony Martial" licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5
7(T). Thomas Partey, Arsenal ($15.9 Million)
As the big-time acquisition for Arsenal during the previous transfer window, Thomas Partey has been something of a disappointment. Injuries are entirely responsible. The midfielder has enjoyed extremely limited availability since joining his new club.
Now that he's healthier, it's fair to expect bigger things. He is a high-IQ player who won't commit many turnovers and seldom tries to play outside his limitations. Basically, he's the type of player you want on a team that already has a ton of good players around him, because he exists to amplify them rather than stand out on his own.
7(T). Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal ($15.9 Million)
Some will be inclined to call Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a bargain. It's reasonable to expect the captain of a team like Arsenal to make even more relative to the rest of the market.
Beyond that, Aubameyang is just absurdly good. So few athletes can play with his change of pace, and even fewer can finish possessions so seamlessly as both a ball-handler and trailer. If you need a star whose scale set is universally scalable across any team and situation, he's your guy.
6. Mesut Ozil, Arsenal ($17.2 Million)
Is there an attacking midfielder with a better combination skill set than Mesut Ozil? It's a fair question.
The 32-year-old is not one of the seven highest-paid Premier League players by accident. He is renowned for the blend of agility and finesse he shows both on and off the ball. The way he plays doesn't always lead to highlight numbers—he has just 33 goals through 184 Premier League appearances—but he is a dangerous setup man and decoy who has a knack for making his teams better.
5. Paul Pogba, Manchester United ($18.5 Million)
Fair warning: Get ready to see a lot of Manchester City and Manchester United players in the top five. As two of the world's preeminent sports franchises, they are willing to pay for top-end talent, and it reflects in the investments they've made.
Paul Pogba comfortably falls under that top-end-talent umbrella. He is what you would call a superstar glue guy. His numbers don't always smack you in the face, but he doesn't need to rack up goals to ensure his presence is felt on the pitch.
Pogba's utility instead lies in his comprehensive usage. He is the closest professional soccer gets to a positionless player. While he's considered a central midfielder, he is also able to play as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, and primary playmaker. You name it, he basically does it—and does it well, at that.
4. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City ($19.1 Million)
Forward Raheem Sterling is held in high esteem for his well-rounded skill set on the field, where he is especially lethal when beating defenders both on and off the ball.
This is not just one year's worth of balanced production. Sterling currently has 90 career goals and 47 career assists at the Premier League level. That is, in fact, why Manchester City pays him the big bucks."Raheem Sterling" is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
3. Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City ($20.5 Million)
Kevin De Bruyne doesn't profile to be in the top three for much longer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is coming for his ranking next year when his new contract takes effect.
Then again, Bruyne just might be happy he's this highly paid at all. His most recent season is hardly one for the record books, as all his metrics are down across the board.
At only 29 years old, though, the hope is that the midfielder can return to superstar form in due time. After all, Manchester City has dubbed him a vice-captain for a reason.
2. David De Gea, Manchester United ($23.9 Million)
As you'll have observed by now, there were not a ton of goalies on this list. Teams are less inclined to spend on talent between the posts because they're considered estimable on the cheap. Essentially, what centers are to NBA teams is what goalies have become to Premier League franchises.
David De Gea ranks as the largest exception. And don't think for a minute that Manchester United regrets his price point. He's among the best goal-stoppers in the world.
1. Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur ($38.3 million)
Right off the bat, you’ll notice Gareth Bale’s salary far outstrips those from any of his peers. There is nearly a $15 million difference between him and our second-place finisher—a monstrous gap.
While Bale is a superstar winger, this is not because he's lightyears better than anyone else in the Premier League. His salary is so high because he's currently on loan to Tottenham from Real Madrid.
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