Biggest Player Salaries in the English Premier League in 2021

By Ben Morris in English Premier League
| January 17, 2021 6:14 am PDT
Highest Paid EPL Players in 2021

It sure would be nice to earn as much as a Premier League soccer star, wouldn’t it?

I mean, the majority of EPL players earn more in an hour than most people take home in an entire month, with the top earners banking six figures every week.

Unlike most professions, soccer player’s salaries are frequently discussed openly in the media. This allows nosey people like me to compile lists of the highest paid Premier League stars every year.

With 2020 in the past, here are the top ten highest paid EPL players in 2021.

10. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City

  • Annual salary: £11,967,000
  • Weekly salary: £230,135

Sergio Aguero is the fourth-highest goal-scorer in EPL history, so it is no real surprise that he is also among the league’s top earners.

The Argentine was signed by Manchester City for £35 million back in 2011, and he has since made almost 400 appearances for the club – scoring over 250 goals.

Two years after arriving in England, Aguero signed a one-year contract extension at the Etihad Stadium. He was then handed a new five-year contract in 2014, before signing his latest deal in 2018.

The forward’s current contract is due to expire this year, with many believing that the aging star will leave the club at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

Aguero only played in 24 of Man City’s 38 Premier League games last season due to two separate injuries, although he still managed to score 16 goals.

9. Thomas Partey – Arsenal

  • Annual salary: £13,000,000
  • Weekly salary: £250,000

When Thomas Partey arrived in England’s top-flight in October 2020, he instantly became one of the EPL’s biggest earners.

The Ghana international gained a reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe during his time at Atletico Madrid, with Arsenal reportedly monitoring him for a number of years.

Eventually, the Gunners paid Atletico £45 million for the midfielder’s services, making him the fourth most expensive player in the club’s history.

It’s fair to say that Partey has not enjoyed the best of starts to his Arsenal career. He only featured in five of the Gunners’ opening 17 league matches, with an injury keeping him out of the team.

But when you’re earning £250,000 a week, a brief spell on the sidelines can’t be all the bad, right?

ARSENAL’S RECORD TRANSFER ARRIVALS
Player Year From Transfer Fee
Nicolas Pepe 2019 Lille £72.00m
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 2018 Borussia Dortmund £57.38m
Alexandre Lacazette 2017 Lyon £47.70m
Thomas Partey 2020 Atletico Madrid £45.00m
Mesut Ozil 2013 Real Madrid £42.30m

8. Anthony Martial – Manchester United

  • Annual salary: £13,000,000
  • Weekly salary: £250,000

Anthony Martial arrived at Old Trafford in 2015 as the world’s most expensive teenager following Manchester United’s £54 million swoop for the ex-Monaco forward.

Since then, the Frenchman has racked up almost 250 appearances for the Red Devils, contributing 53 goals and 29 assists in the Premier League.

After bursting onto the scene with a memorable debut goal against Liverpool, Martial struggled to adapt to the demands of the EPL. In fact, even at 25, it could be argued that he is yet to unlock his full potential.

But in 2019, Martial signed a new five-year contract with Man Utd, making him one of the division’s highest paid players.

Believe it or not – with an annual salary of £13 million, Martial isn’t even the club’s biggest earner. Keep reading to find out which two United players are ahead of him in the rankings.

7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal

  • Annual salary: £13,000,000
  • Weekly salary: £250,000

With the Gunners failing to qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League, there was a sense that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would leave North London at the end of last season.

The forward left Arsenal fans waiting for what felt like an eternity. But in September 2020, he ended months of speculation by signing a new lucrative three-year deal with the club.

Before signings his new contract, Aubameyang had scored 70 goals in his first 109 appearances for the Gunners. But after putting pen to paper, he only managed to net three goals in the opening 15 matches of the 2020/21 EPL season.

Nobody can argue that Aubameyang didn’t deserved a new contract. However, question marks have been raised following a series of below-par performances.

Still, he isn’t Arsenal’s top earner.

6. Mesut Ozil – Arsenal

  • Annual salary: £13,975,000
  • Weekly salary: £268,750

I know that you’re thinking – is Mesut Ozil really still getting paid a fortune to sit on the sidelines?

Well, much to the disgust of the majority of Arsenal supporters, I’m afraid to say that he is.

Despite earning over a quarter of a million pounds per week, the midfielder has effectively been frozen out by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. In fact, he hasn’t played a single second of first-team action in 2020/21.

Having been omitted from Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad, Ozil is only currently eligible to play for the U23s. Imagine being an up-and-coming teenager and playing alongside the sixth-biggest earner in English soccer!

With Arteta continuing to disregard Ozil, it probably won’t be too long before the German World Cup winner finds himself at a different club.

The table below shows Ozil’s gradual decline over the last few seasons.

MESUT OZIL’S PREMIER LEAGUE MINUTES PER SEASON SINCE 2015/16
Season Minutes Played
2020/21 0
2019/20 1,449
2018/19 1,741
2017/18 2,164
2016/17 2,847
2015/16 3,048

5. Paul Pogba – Manchester United

  • Annual salary: £15,080,000
  • Weekly salary: £290,000

Along with Ozil, Paul Pogba is undoubtedly one of the Premier League’s biggest enigmas right now.

Earning just over £15 million a year, you would think that he would be the focal point of Man Utd’s plans. However, the enigmatic Frenchman often finds himself in and out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.

After failing to impress former manager Alex Ferguson, Pogba was sold to Italian side Juventus in 2012. Four years later, he was re-signed by United, with many feeling that he was finally ready to settle at Old Trafford.

But since arriving back in Manchester for a then-world record transfer fee of £94.5 million in 2016, Pogba has failed to live up to his price tag – and his salary.

Man Utd recently triggered a one-year extension in the midfielder’s contract, meaning his second stint at Old Trafford is set to end in 2022.

With Bruno Fernandes now the main man for Solskjaer’s side, I’m slightly surprised that the hierarchy chose to keep Pogba on the wage bill for another 12 months.

4. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

  • Annual salary: £15,600,000
  • Weekly salary: £300,000

Over the past few years, Raheem Sterling has established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League – and his salary certainly reflects that.

The forward joined Manchester City from Liverpool on a five-year deal in 2015, commanding the biggest transfer fee for an English player at the time. In 2018, he signed a three-year contract extension, committing him to the club until 2023.

With rumors about a move elsewhere – most likely Real Madrid – continuing to circulate, it has been reported that Man City is planning to offer Sterling a pay rise.

The 26-year-old already earns in excess of £15 million per year. But as he enters the peak years of his career, City looks set to offer his an even more lucrative deal in order to keep him at the club.

You only have to look at Sterling’s goal contribution statistics from the past few years to see why Man City is willing to pay him more than £300,000 a week.

RAHEEM STERLING’S PREMIER LEAGUE STATS SINCE JOINING MANCHESTER CITY
Season Goals Assists
2019/20 20 4
2018/19 17 12
2017/18 18 15
2016/17 7 10
2015/16 6 2

3. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

  • Annual salary: £16,683,333
  • Weekly salary: £320,833

Remarkably, Sterling isn’t even Man City’s best paid player. That’s right – taking home close to £17 million each year, that tag belongs to Kevin De Bruyne.

Arguably the most complete midfielder on the planet, De Bruyne has already signed one bumper contract extension since joining the club in six years ago. Something tells me that he will probably sign another in the not-too-distant future.

After being rejected by Chelsea as a teenager, the Belgian moved to Germany. He spent two and a half seasons with Wolfsburg, proving all of his Stamford Bridge doubters wrong.

De Bruyne signed a six-year contract with City in 2015, becoming the club’s record signing in the process. After guiding Pep Guardiola’s side to two EPL titles and five domestic cups, he was handed a new long-term deal in 2018.

Fans often question the salaries of underperforming stars like Ozil and Pogba. By contrast, you don’t hear many people complaining about how much De Bruyne earns.

2. David De Gea – Manchester United

  • Annual salary: £19,500,000
  • Weekly salary: £375,000

Not only is David De Gea the only goalkeeper among the top ten Premier League earners in 2021, but he also boasts the second-highest salary in the entire division.

If it feels like De Gea has been around for a while now, that’s because he has. The Spanish gloveman joined Man Utd from Atletico Madrid back in 2011 and has since made over 400 appearances for the club – keeping almost 150 clean sheets.

The 30-year-old has been rewarded for his efforts with two new contracts at Old Trafford over the years, with his most recent deal being agreed in 2019.

De Gea penned a four-year contract renewal at the beginning of the 2019/20 season, making him the highest paid EPL star at the time.

However, he is no longer the Premier League’s biggest earner.

1. Gareth Bale – Tottenham Hotspur

  • Annual salary: £31,200,000
  • Weekly salary: £600,000

In September 2020, Gareth Bale returned to Tottenham and in turn became the EPL’s highest paid player by a considerable margin.

Sure, a large bulk of the Real Madrid loanee’s wages are still being paid by his parent club. But given that Bale earns a whopping £600,000 a week, Spurs were never going to be able to afford him outright.

The Welsh wizard left the Premier League for La Liga in 2013 and cost Los Blancos almost £90 million. But having fallen out of favor with Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, he is now back in North London on a season-long loan deal.

We all know that Bale has been one of the world’s most prolific players for the best of a decade now, although I think we can all agree that his £31,200,000 annual salary is nothing short of outrageous.

Time will tell whether he will be the league’s top earner next season, with Spurs unlikely to be able to re-sign him on a permanent basis without a significant pay cut.

But right now, Bale is the highest paid player in the EPL – by a long way!

Conclusion

Newly signed Man Utd striker Edinson Cavani (£10,920,000) narrowly misses out on the top ten, while Mohamed Salah, Marcus Rashford, and Harry Kane each earn £10,400,000 per year.

Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara (£10,000,000) and Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell (£9,880,000) are also among the Premier League’s biggest earners.

Sports clubs are often criticized for the amount of money they pay their players. But with no salary cap in the EPL, I can only see salaries rising in the Premier League.

If you’re interested in learning about some of cricket’s top earners, make sure you check out the biggest player salaries in the Indian Premier League.

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