No other league pays their players as much as Premier League does. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and the CSL clubs do seem to pay six figures to deserving players, but the UK's top division has seen clubs dishing out big-money contracts to even second-tier players, especially on the back of the big-money television deal.
We're all for players making big money as shelf life of athletes if oftentimes very short. However, it's true that some players are paid more than what they're worth. We've seen clubs hand undeserving players big-money contracts only to send them on loan or sell them a season or two later.
Paying undeserving players big amounts of money isn't a trait that's exclusive to big clubs, however, as smaller clubs, even those who’ve only recently returned to the top-tier only, have found themselves paying players who’ve contributed little to nothing to their progress six figures.
The following article looks at the most overpaid player at every Premier League club and their wages by week.
If you think a different player must have made the list ahead of whom the writer has picked, use the comments' section to mention them. Also, feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you spend a stupid amount of time discussing football with your mates.
20 Arsenal: Sead Kolasinac - £120,000
Until the final few months of Arsene Wenger’s regime, no Arsenal player was ever in the overpaid category. The genius was adept at paying players what they’re worthy of; no player was underpaid or overpaid. With his fall came the new trend of overpaying players in Premier League.
Arsenal have lately been paying eight players six figures, and only one of them isn’t a first-team regular: Sead Kolasinac.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international left-back, who's contracted to Arsenal until 2022, is only 25 years old, and his chances of making it at Arsenal is quite high. However, as things stand, he's the most overpaid player at the club.
19 Bournemouth: Jermain Defoe - £100,000
Bournemouth has proven an exceptionally-managed club since their promotion to Premier League, with the club making effective use of the loan system to keep their head above water. They've traditionally relied on youngsters to keep them in the top flight, so eyebrows were raised when the club handed a three-year £100,000-a-week contract to aging Jermain Defoe.
Given his personality and experience, he'll certain to play a crucial role in molding youngsters such as Jordan Ibe and Lys Mousset, but paying a striker who'll be 36 soon isn't a wise decision when you realize that club top-scorer makes more than £40,000 less than him.
18 Brighton and Hove Albion: Jurgen Locadia - £45,000
Brighton and Hove Albion are one of the few Premier League clubs where the players are paid exactly what they deserve. With the club managing to stay up, no supporter or pundit will ever deem a player of theirs overpaid. However, one player is an outlier: Jurgen Locadia.
Much was expected of the 24-year-old forward when the club signed him in January 2018 for £15.30 million, but he’s failed to make an impact, either starting from the bench or being on the injury table.
With £30,000-a-week striker Glenn Murray proving a solid goal source, one expects the club’s best-paid player to only be a bit-part player next season as well.
17 Burnley: Jonathan Walters - £30,000
No player at Burnley makes over £35,000, so singling out a player in that team, who finished seventh in Premier League, only behind the big-six clubs must be a cruel act of nitpicking. However, as we look through every club, we must single out the most overpaid player of the lot. Jonathan Walters, who signed for Burnley in the summer of 2017 for £2 million, has had only minimal influence on the team thanks to his injuries, with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood scoring the goals for the club. No one expects him to contribute on the pitch next season as well.
16 Cardiff City: Anthony Pilkington - £14,000
Very few clubs are as well-managed as Cardiff City when it comes to player contracts. No player is Premier League-overpaid, but when Anthony Pilkington’s contribution in the recent times is taken into consideration, one can’t help but conclude that he, who, makes a measly £14,000 a week, is the most overpaid player at the Wales club. The 30-year-old winger played only 151 minutes of Championship football last season, with manager Neil Warnock preferring younger Callum Paterson, Kenneth Zohore and Junior Hoilett to him. With his current contract ending in the summer of 2019, none expects him to be at the Cardiff City Stadium next season.
15 Chelsea: Tiemoue Bakayoko - £110,000
Chelsea have been extravagant since Roman Abramovich's takeover, but the eager billionaire has lately been keen on stabilizing the club.
The club has been using their money wisely in recent times; however, they haven't been fully immune to making poor transfer decisions.
They parted ways with £36 million to secure Tiemoue Bakayoko’s services, but his confidence issues and poor form has meant that he hasn't been good enough to justify his transfer fee or weekly wage of £110,000.
New manager Maurizio Sarri, however, don't need him to guard the Chelsea defense, as World Cup winner N'Golo Kante is an excellent destroyer midfielder in his own right.
14 Crystal Palace: Christian Benteke - £120,000
Here's one of two failed Liverpool strikers of this list. Christian Benteke made headlines at Aston Villa, averaging 14 goals a season during his three-year stay at the Birmingham club. His stellar record there earned him a move to Liverpool, and that's when things started going downhill. An underwhelming season at Anfield meant he had to move to mid-table Crystal Palace. Thanks to his scoring only three goals last season, many deem him unworthy of his £120,000-a-week deal. However, should he rediscover his 2016-17 form, the Eagles will more than recoup the monies they've spent on him.
13 Everton: Gylfi Sigurdsson - £120,000
Everton used to be lauded for their shrewd transfer activity back in the day. Nowadays, however, they seem synonymous with poor decisions. They've splashed big amounts of money on players who've had little to no impact, with Michael Keane and Gylfi Sigurdsson, being a few. The latter, in particular, single-handedly takes home over £120,000. With the club parting ways with £50 million to secure his signature in the first place, anything short of an exceptional season must be considered a disappointment. The Iceland international, however, was directly involved in a goal only every 250 minutes, thus making him one of the most overpaid players in the league.
12 Fulham: Rui Fonte - £75,000
Fulham have done fantastic business in the transfer market this season, signing Jean Michel Seri, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Andre Schurrle. They don’t just look equipped to survive in the Premier League, for they look strong enough to challenge for a top-half finish.
One player who likely won’t play a huge role in manager Slavisa Jokanovic’s plans is Rui Fonte.
The 28-year-old Portugal striker arrived at Craven Cottage on the back of a 15-goal season with Braga; however, he’s been so abysmal that the Fulham manager reduced him, a £75,000-a-week player, to a squad player in the later stages of in his first season at the club.
11 Huddersfield Town: Alex Pritchard - £110,000
Huddersfield Town are otherwise a well-run club, and their paying a 25-year-old midfielder who couldn’t even make the England squad six figures sounds absurd, to say the least. However, a lot of reliable sources claim that Alex Pritchard, a Tottenham Hotspur academy graduate, is on a £110,000-a-week deal.
What makes his taking home six figures all the more baffling is the fact that the second highest earner, Aaron Mooy, makes more than £60,000 less. He’s been a regular at the David Wagner-managed club since signing for them in January 2018, and it remains to be seen if they’ve committed a blunder by making him the best-paid player in club history.
10 Leicester City: Islam Slimani - £80,000
Premier League observers touted Islam Slimani to be Olivier Giroud levels of good given his reputation of being excellent at hold-up play. However, he has only been in Jamie Vardy's shadow at the King Power Stadium club. A loan move to Newcastle United, a newly-promoted club, on paper, must have been an excellent opportunity for him to revive his career in England; however, he managed just a solitary league start at the Magpies. He, a 30-year-old whose best days are already behind him, is now back in Leicester and is set to be there for two more seasons, taking home £80,000 every week.
9 Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge - £120,000
Liverpool haven't been reluctant to go big on transfers, with the club spending big amounts of money to bring in Naby Keita, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, among others.
Naturally, they now have 10 players on their roster who are on six figures, but most of them are crucial to their success, with Mohamed Salah an excellent case in point.
One player who likely will feature predominantly only on the bench this season, however, is Daniel Sturridge. The England international striker, who hasn't hit double figures in four seasons, has been exceptional in flashes but has never been consistently good enough to take home £120,000 every week.
8 Manchester City: Claudio Bravo - £115,000
The media loves lauding Pep Guardiola, and he deserves every bit of the plaudits he receives. He hasn’t just won the Premier League title in extraordinary fashion, for he’s also improved numerous players, including the much-derided Raheem Sterling. However, he has been prone to making poor contractual decisions as well. His absolute worst decision, the one that most give him stick for, mustn't be signing Claudio Bravo for £16.20 million for it must be thinking he was worthy of the £115,000-a-week contract he handed him.
After being mainly on the bench in his first season at the club, he was allowed to play only dead-rubber games last season. It's baffling that a washed-up 35-year-old goalkeeper makes more than what more than half the roster does.
7 Manchester United: Victor Lindelof - £120,000
One is left spoiled for choices when they're asked to single out the most overpaid player on the Manchester United roster, with the club handing numerous players of theirs contracts they don't deserve. However, the most absurd contractual decision they've made in the recent times is handing defender Victor Lindelof a £120,000-a-week deal.
The 24-year-old Swede, indeed, can still develop into a top-notch defender; however, when one takes the amount of impact he's had since arriving at the Old Trafford club, one can't help but come to the conclusion that he, whom many deem one of the worst transfers of the 2017-18 season, isn't worth his hefty contract.
6 Newcastle United: Henri Saivet - £35,000
A club of Newcastle United’s stature must be overpaying players left, right and center, but they're run better than most other English clubs today. The fulcrum of the team, Jonjo Shelvey himself is only on £70,000 a week, but there are a few players on the roster who aren't worthy of the amount of money they take home every week. Henri Saivet is an excellent case in point.
Manager Rafael Benitez only handed him a single league appearance before sending him on loan to Turkey in January.
With his being on a £35,000-a-week deal, the Magpies have found finding suitors for him difficult despite selling Mikel Merino and Aleksandar Mitrovic only recently.
5 Southampton: Manolo Gabbiadini - £80,000
Southampton used to be known for their smart transfer decisions but, lately, they’ve been prone to making bad signings and overpaying some of their stars as well. However, those are inevitable side effects of being in the cash-rich Premier League. Fifteen Southampton players are on at least £50,000 a week, but almost everyone is worthy of their contract, save for £80,000-a-week striker Manolo Gabbiadini.
The former Napoli man showed immense promise in the second half of 2016-17 season, scoring six goals in 12 appearances, but he’s bombed in his second season, scoring just five in 33 appearances for the Saints.
4 Tottenham Hotspur: Serge Aurier - £80,000
No other Premier League chairman is as good as Daniel Levy at convincing players to commit to contracts that criminally underpays them. However, he has had his share of failed projects as well. Serge Aurier, when he signed from Paris Saint-Germain, was expected to be the first-choice right-back at the club. However, his performances were far from impressive in his first season at the club that manager Mauricio Pochettino made him share game time with Kieran Trippier. What makes the club's decision to pay him £80,000 every week all the more ludicrous is the fact that even big-name players such as Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are making £25,000 and £5,000 less, respectively.
3 Watford: Andre Gray - £70,000
Watfored signed striker Andre Gray for £18.36 million last summer. While their paying less than £20 million in today's inflated market looked a brilliant piece of transfer activity, their choosing to pay him £70,000 per week after his only scoring nine Premier League goals in his only season in season in the top-flight didn't look a great decision.
One year and a measly return of five goals in 33 appearances later, it has proved a terrible decision.
It makes it worse when you know that club captain Troy Deeney himself is only on £45,000 a week. The Watford faithful will hope to see him rediscover his 2015-16 Championship form next season.
2 West Ham United: Andy Carroll - £90,000
West Ham United’s transfer activity has been questionable of late, with the club spending loads on washed-up big-name players such as Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart. However, with them they bring in valuable winning mentality, as they have won numerous trophies. One player who neither contributes on the pitch nor brings in top-notch mentality or experience is former Liverpool forward Andy Carroll.
He, who's only been fit enough start an average of 13 games per season over six seasons, is on a £90,000-a-week deal until the end of the current season. Besides him, there are numerous other overpaid players on the Hammers' roster, with Chicharito, who's on £140,000 a week, deserving a special mention.
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ruben Neves - £50,000
Wolverhampton Wanderers was recently embroiled in a controversy, with many Championship clubs complaining that the club are underpaying their players. Thanks to the influence of super agent Jorge Mendes at the club and the sport in general, they’ve been getting away with paying no player over £20,000. However, one player who’s managed to convince the club management to pay him English football levels of wages is Portugal international midfielder Ruben Neves. He’s reportedly on a £50,000-a-week deal, but what makes him overpaid is the fact that his other teammates, including goal machines Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini, are still making peanuts.