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21st Aug 2015

New Burnley striker costs £137,000 per league game – here are 5 players who cost more per appearance

Tom Victor

There have been some big spenders in the Championship this season, and Burnley have added their name to that list.

But while other clubs have looked to established football league talents, the Clarets have spent a reported £7m on a man with just 51 league appearances to his name.

Andre Gray has moved to Turf Moor after just one full season at Brentford, having played for Conference North club Hinckley United as recently as 2012.

But when it comes to cost per appearance, Gray’s £137,000 is not even close to the highest we’ve seen in recent years.

Here are just a few of the English players who have gone for more, often after playing even less (all figures are rounded down to the nearest thousand).

Raheem Sterling – £515,000 per league appearance

Manchester City’s record signing is undoubtedly a big name, having excelled for Liverpool and started for England at the World Cup, but it’s easy to forget how short a time he’s been playing.

The winger had made just 95 league appearances before his £49m move – that’s more than half a million for each time he’s turned out in the Premier League.

Andy Carroll – £384,000 per league appearance

Liverpool shouldn’t have been too surprised that a fellow Premier League side was prepared to spend big on a player with fewer than 100 league games under their belt – after all, they’d done the same themselves just four-and-a-half years earlier.

Andy Carroll had played 91 league games, and just 37 of those in the Premier League, before Kenny Dalglish opted to spend the bulk of the Fernando Torres fee on the former Newcastle frontman.

Luke Shaw – £500,000 per league appearance

The most expensive teenager in English football at an estimated £30m, Shaw wasn’t even a household name in his own home just 18 months before his Manchester United move.

Shaw, the youngest player to feature at the 2014 World Cup, played just 60 league games for Southampton and is still yet to reach triple figures for club and country.

Wayne Rooney – £382,000 per league appearance

You can hardly argue that Rooney was a waste of money for Manchester United, but it’s easy to forget how much of a relative gamble his £25.6m fee represented.

Sure, the then-18-year-old had starred at Euro 2004, but he had just two full campaigns at Everton under his belt when he made the move to Old Trafford.

Calum Chambers – £727,000 per league appearance

The fee paid for versatile defender Chambers may have been less than the others, coming in at an estimated £16m, but the youngster defined the term “raw talent” during his Southampton days.

After getting his top-flight breakthrough for the Saints in Mauricio Pochettino’s first full season, the England man had played just 25 games in league and cup when Arsenal came calling. Time is on his side, though.