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To put it quite simply, the O’s do not really have deep pockets these days. Even back in the years gone by when they were breaking their own records, the sums were never really that impressive to begin with. And not to mention that it’s been decades since they last broke the bank to bring in a superstar, big-money signing.
In fact, Justin Channing who arrived from Bristol Rovers back in 1996/97 for a reported fee of £286,000 is still their most expensive signing in the history of the club and he’s been on top of the mountain for more than 20 years running now.
And not only that but the guy who held the record before Channing was signed in 1989/90 from Wigan Athletic as Leyton Orient paid a sum of £225,000 to get Paul Beesley into their ranks. And the guy before him? Mervyn Day – a goalkeeper who arrived from West Ham United for £153,000 back in… 1979/80.
So basically, they would break their record once every ten years but then, at the end of the millennium, the trend stopped as money was tighter and transfer prices went up. Still, when it comes to departures, there are also a couple of big names to mention.
Gabriel Zakuani is a fairly recent transfer away from the club and Leyton Orient cashed in £1.3m from Fulham when he departed in 2006/07. He is, to this day, the biggest piece of business they have even done, both incoming and outgoing.
And Zakuani is then closely followed by Moses Odubayo who went to Brentford for £1.1m in 2014/15. The next in line is John Chiedozie for his £635,000 transfer to Notts County in, intriguingly, 1981/82.
We simply have to mention the young full-back Odubayo for his big-money departure to Brentford. He was brilliant for the O’s and a big fan-favourite as well. Continuing with the more recent player, Macauley Bonne definitely deserves a shout and his great stint following his arrival gave him a big transfer into the Championship as well.
Then there are the likes of Jonathan Tehoue for his heroics against Arsenal or Channing for his then incredible transfer fee the club had to fork out to get him.
We could go on with Beesley, Day or Zakuani for similar reasons but there are simply too many to count and someone is bound to miss out on the list.