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The five most expensive League One transfers in history

Thursday 1st March 2018

League One is becoming an increasingly competitive league, with some huge clubs playing their football in English football's third tier over recent years; including Leicester City, Wolves, Sheffield United, Southampton and Norwich City. It is also the home to former Premier League winners Blackburn Rovers, which shows just how hard it can be to get promoted out from.

Along with gigantic clubs comes big-money transfers and although League One cannot compete financially with some astronomical fees that fly around in the Championship, there are still some significant deals that go ahead. Here are the 5 most expensive transfers of all time in the third tier:

1. John Brayford, Sheffield United, £2million

The Blades spent big money in League One terms to lure John Brayford from the division above, as the defender left Cardiff City to join Sheffield United in January 2015. He had spent time on loan with them previously, clearly impressing during that short-term spell from the Bluebirds. However, when Chris Wilder moved to Sheffield United prior to last season, Brayford left the club to join Championship side Burton Albion on a season-long loan; so was not part of the Blades side who won the League One title last season. He then left the Steel City to join Burton on a permanent deal in the summer.

2. Britt Assombalonga, Peterborough United, £1.7million

Assombalonga is now up there amongst the top-tier strikers in the Championship and moved to Middlesbrough from Nottingham Forest for £15.3million in the summer. Peterborough United was where he first made his name, as the League One side forked out £1.7million to sign him from Watford in July 2013, following a remarkable loan spell at Southend United. He was then sold to Forest in August 2014 after a prolific season for the Posh, in a deal worth around £5 million which meant they made a tidy profit on him.

3. Will Grigg, Wigan Athletic, £1.27million

The Northern Ireland international joined the Latics after they were relegated from the Championship in 2015. He had previously been on loan at MK Dons (from Brentford) in the previous season and had scored 20 league goals. The Bees let him join Wigan on a permanent deal and he helped them win the league title in his first season; bagging 25 goals for them and earning himself a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad for Euro 2016 in the process. However, he could not prevent them from being relegated from the Championship last season but is doing his utmost to get them back there in this campaign.

4. Reece James, Wigan Athletic, £1.26million

The 23 year-old joined Wigan at the same time as Will Grigg did. The left-back joined on a permanent deal from Manchester United having previously had loan spells Carlisle United, Rotherham United and Cardiff City. He started life at the DW Stadium well and nailed down a permanent spot before sustaining an injury that ruled him out for the remainder of the title-winning season, and their subsequent Championship campaign. He's back now though and will be hoping to help Paul Cook guide them back to the second tier.

5. Jose Fonte, Southampton, £1.26million

The Saints signed the Portuguese international from Crystal Palace in January 2010 and turned out to be a genius transfer. He captained them to back-to-back promotions under Nigel Adkins, while becoming a cult hero at St. Mary's. He left them in January 2017 to join West Ham United for £8 million but spent just a year with the Hammers, as he has recently signed for Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

Harry Mail

A big Hull City fan from Manchester. Keep an eye on leagues across Europe, the MLS and non-league in England.


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