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Even though there have been some pretty historic moments in League One as a whole, it has been some years since their last transfer record was broken. To be more precise, Fabian Delph’s departure from Leeds United in 2009/10, who were down in the third tier at the time, to join Aston Villa in the Premier League cost a reported fee of £8.5m, eclipsing the former record holder by some distance.
But 2007/08 was actually quite a big year for the league as the record was actually broken twice in a relatively short span. First, at the beginning of July, Luke Varney joined Charlton Athletic from Crewe Alexandra for £3.33m, surpassing David Cotterill’s £2.8m price tag, but couldn’t really remain at the top for too long.
At the end of the month, the record was in pieces once again as Leon Barnett was transferred from Luton to West Bromwich Albion for £3.38m. And even to this day, even though we’re talking about transfers that happened more than ten years ago, Delph, Barnett and Varney are still the top three most recent record breakers in League One’s history.
All of them, however, were departures to the higher tiers, either to the Championship or directly into the Premier League itself. When it comes to purely arrivals, Will Greg’s 2018/19 transfer from Wigan Athletic to Sunderland for £3m tops the charts.
When we talk about famous League One transfers, it’s really difficult not to repeat some of the names that were already mentioned among the record-breakers. Delph’s move to Aston Villa was as huge as it was historic and seeing the massive price tag that was on his head back then, it’s unlikely we see a repeat of that any time soon.
Of course, let’s not forget that Ademola Lookman did come fairly close to it in 2016/17 when he moved from Charlton Athletic to Everton for a reported fee of £7.9m. It’s also a given that if the record is to be broken in the near future, it will most likely have to be a team from the upper tiers shopping in League One.
A similar thing happened when Manchester United scooped up Nick Powell for £6.7m or when St Etienne picked up Wahbi Khazri for £6.3m.
At the moment, Delph, Lookman and Powell are the three most expensive transfers the league has ever witnessed.