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The Saddlers really do have quite a mix of old and recent transfers on the list of the most expensive arrivals at the club. Andreas Makris was bought from Anorthosis Famagusta in 2016/17 for a reported fee of £319,000, smashing the former record in pieces in the process as well.
And interestingly enough, before Makris, the record-holder was actually Jorge Leitao, now-retired Portuguese centre-forward whose services were acquired from CD Feirense for a sum of £180,000 back in 2000/01. And before him?
Alan Buckley’s £178,000 switch from Birmingham City in… 1979/80. Yeah, that was quite a jump and Buckley was on top of the mountain for 20 years before Leitao came knocking on the door. Of course, he would also enjoy a similar spell at the top until 2016/17.
On the other side of the coin, the departures are expectedly more expensive and impressive. But even more importantly, they are quite recent as well. In 2016/17, Rico Henry was sold to Brentford for a fee of £1.6m, instantly becoming the biggest piece of business the club has ever done, both incoming and outgoing.
It also eclipsed the departure of Jamie Paterson to Nottingham Forest for £810,000 and Tom Bradshaw to Barnsley FC for £702,000, who now sit in second and third place respectively and are also among the more impressive transfers at the club as a whole.
When it comes to some of the best and most famous Walsall players in general, it was all about discovering and nurturing them rather than actually splashing the cash on big-money superstars. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any famous deals getting over the line throughout the years, quite the contrary.
Adam Chambers, Romaine Sawyers or Erhun Oztumer are great examples of players who turned into fan-favourites for their incredible services to the badge. And then there is the departure of their talent Allan Clarke or the big transfer of Buckley as they brought him back from Birmingham City.
Of course, there are more like Makris or Leitao, both of whom commanded the record fee for a long, long time, just like Buckley did in his own time. Naturally, there are more who deserve more than just a shout on this list but it’s already quite an impressive selection of players, which tells you a lot about the club.