The Highest-Paid Goalkeeper and Defenders in EPL

The football landscape has shifted in 2023, with the Premier League no longer boasting the highest-paid superstars in the game. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar now command salaries that eclipse even the top earners in England’s top flight.

While the Premier League may lack the very top tier of earners, its stars are still handsomely compensated. We’ve compiled a list of the league’s highest-paid players – focusing on goalkeepers and defenders – and their estimated annual wages.

Though they may not match the sums commanded by Ronaldo and Messi abroad, these defensive stalwarts anchor Premier League teams with their world-class ability. Their salaries reflect their value and importance to their clubs’ fortunes, both on the pitch and in the transfer market.

GK. €9.1 million. Alisson.

As the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, Alisson commands wages from Liverpool that reflect his massive transfer fee and integral role between the posts. With cat-like reflexes and an unflappable presence, the Brazilian has been a transformative signing that turned Liverpool’s shaky defense into a virtual fortress. After key injuries in 2022-23, Liverpool will hope Alisson regains his best form in 2023-24 to spearhead their quest to regain the Premier League crown.

RB. €15.2million. Reece James

With his buccaneering runs and whipped crosses from right back, Reece James embodies the modern fullback for Chelsea and England. Securing the academy product to a long-term deal shows Chelsea’s faith in James as a homegrown superstar, despite past sales of youth stars. Appointing the 23-year-old as 2023-24 club captain punctuates James’ rapid rise from prospect to pillar of the present and future Chelsea spine.

CB. €15.2million. John Stones

Under Guardiola’s tutelage, John Stones has transformed from error-prone defender to ball-playing libero at the heart of Manchester City’s dynasty. His composure and distribution in possession make the Englishman integral to City’s fluid tactics and dominant style. With his technical ability unlocking the team’s attacking moves, Stones richly merits his position as one of City’s highest earning players.

CB. €20.6million. Raphael Varane

As a four-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Raphael Varane brought elite pedigree and leadership when joining Manchester United in 2021. Despite United’s recent struggles, the Frenchman has lived up to his reputation as one of the world’s best defenders with assured displays. With the team rebuilding under Erik ten Hag, Varane’s experience and quality will remain vital if United are to regain their past glories.

LB. €12.1million. Josko Gvardiol

Despite his youth, Josko Gvardiol earned a big money move to Manchester City after excelling for club and country in 2022. The versatile 21-year-old has impressed Guardiola with his comfort on the ball and tactical intelligence to slot into different roles. If Gvardiol can quickly adapt to the Premier League, his potential is limitless and City’s investment in him will seem prescient.

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