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Monday, July 15, 2024

The Highest-Paid Premier League Defenders

Dec 14, 2022; Al Khor, Qatar; France defender Raphael Varane (4) acknowledges fans after winning a semifinal match against Morocco during the 2022 World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
France defender Raphael Varane (4) acknowledges fans after winning a semifinal match against Morocco during the 2022 World Cup. Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Premier League clubs are worth over $1 billion because of elite players and captivating matches.  Although attackers get the most fanfare and highest pay, Premier League defenders can earn substantial wages for stopping skillful attackers from scoring.

The highest-paid Premier League defenders earn well over $10 million a year.

Topping the list is Raphaël Varane of Manchester United earning $17.68 million. The French defender signed a 2-year, $35.36 million deal in the summer of 2023 to join United.

As Manchester hopes to regain their status as a Premier League champion soon, Varane’s championship experience could help them. He’s won eight trophies in his career, including the 2018 World Cup as a starter for France. 

Two players are tied for second: Reece James of Chelsea and John Stones of Manchester City. Both players bring in $13 million.

James has been with Chelsea for all but one year of his career. He won the 2021 Champion’s League title with them.

Stones signed a 3-year deal in 2021 that brought him to Manchester City from Everton. He’s the only defender in the top 10 with less than 100 career tackles.

Virgil Van Dijk is fourth on the list from Liverpool. The Liverpool captain earns $11.44 million preventing opposing clubs from shooting at his goalkeeper. He’s won the most individual awards of any player on the list with eight in his career.

Three players share the fifth spot, earning $10.4 million a year: Joško Gvardiol of Manchester City, Ben Chilwell of Chelsea, and Wesley Fofana of Chelsea.

Gvardiol signed a deal with Manchester City in 2023. He’ll make $52 million with them over five years. 

Chilwell has earned over $39 million throughout his career playing in England with mainly Leiscter City and Chelsea.

Chelsea acquired Fofana midway through the 2022-2023 season for a 6-year, $62.4 million deal. 

Even though Chelsea has three defenders among the top five highest-paid, Manchester City has the most of any club with five in the top 10.

Ranking The Highest-Paid Defenders in The Premier League

Here is the entire list of the highest-paid Premier League defenders. The list was compiled with data from Capology.

  • Updated: June 25, 2024
RankPlayerCareer TacklesAwards WonTeamTotal Compensation
1Raphaël Varane1832Manchester United$17.68 million
T-2Reece James2630Chelsea$13 million
T-2John Stones980Manchester City$13 million
4Virgil van Dijk1728Liverpool$11.44 million
T-5Joško Gvardiol1250Manchester City$10.4 million
T-5Ben Chilwell2200Chelsea$10.4 million
T-5Wesley Fofana1350Chelsea$10.4 million
T-8Harry Maguire2263Manchester United$9.8 million
T-8William Saliba1950Arsenal$9.8 million
T-10Trent Alexander-Arnold3452Liverpool$9.36 million
T-10Rúben Dias1992Manchester City$9.36 million
T-10Manuel Akanji2410Manchester City$9.36 million
T-13Kyle Walker2100Manchester City$9.1 million
T-13Marc Cucurella5020Chelsea$9.1 million
15Cristian Romero3950Tottenham$8.58 million
16Nathan Aké2280Manchester City$8.32 million
T-17Ben White2750Arsenal$7.8 million
T-17Clément Lenglet2650Aston Villa$7.8 million
T-17Luke Shaw2382Manchester United$7.8 million
T-17Oleksandr Zinchenko2230Arsenal$7.8 million
21Kurt Zouma1640West Ham$6.5 million
T-22Lucas Digne3250Aston Villa$6.24 million
T-22Victor Lindelöf1612Manchester United$6.24 million
T-22Lisandro Martinez2850Manchester United$6.24 million
T-22Kieran Trippier3993Newcastle United$6.24 million
T-22Malang Saar1260Chelsea$6.24 million

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