How Riyad Mahrez's transfer fee compares to past Premier League PFA winners
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 25/04/16 6:05pm
Given he was playing in French football's Ligue 2 just over two years ago, it is perhaps not surprising that Riyad Mahrez is the cheapest PFA Player of the Year for almost a quarter of a century.
Paul McGrath won the award in 1993 after Aston Villa paid £400,000 for him and Leicester are believed to have paid a similar amount for Mahrez, but no winner in between cost so little.
Back then, of course, there was a different climate in English football prior to a dramatic increase in television money and McGrath's fee was proportionately more substantial than it would be today.
There have been three home-grown winners of the award during the Premier League era, with John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Ryan Giggs all claiming it between 2005 and 2009.
It could be argued, however, that developing each of them over several years was more expensive for Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United before each player made their mark.
At a time when the first £100m player transfer is feasible in the not-too-distant future, seeing someone being recruited for a fraction of that and being so successful is refreshing.
Even the winner of the PFA prize 20 years ago - Les Ferdinand, following a 25-goal season in 1995-96 - cost 15 times more than Mahrez at £6m when he switched to St James' Park from QPR.
A player who performed in the eight tier of the French pyramid as in 18-year-old, Mahrez's rise was relatively slow until last season, but it has been remarkable since.
Eden Hazard, last year's PFA winner, also arrived in England from French football when he joined Chelsea from Lille for a considerably higher fee of £32m.
If Mahrez is to move on from Leicester at some point, he will undoubtedly cost something nearer to that mark than the princely sum he moved from Normandy for in January 2014.
PFA Players of the Year since 1992-93
|1992-93||Paul McGrath||Aston Villa||£400k|
|1993-94||Eric Cantona||Manchester United||£1.2m|
|1994-95||Alan Shearer||Blackburn Rovers||£3.6m|
|1995-96||Les Ferdinand||Newcastle United||£6m|
|1996-97||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||£15m|
|1998-99||David Ginola||Tottenham Hotspur||£2m|
|1999-2000||Roy Keane||Manchester United||£3.75m|
|2000-01||Teddy Sheringham||Manchester United||£3.5m|
|2001-02||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Manchester United||£19m|
|2006-07||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||£12.2m|
|2007-08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||£12.2m|
|2008-09||Ryan Giggs||Manchester United||Free|
|2009-10||Wayne Rooney||Manchester United||£25.6m|
|2010-11||Gareth Bale||Tottenham Hotspur||£7m|
|2011-12||Robin van Persie||Arsenal||£2.75m|
|2012-13||Gareth Bale||Tottenham Hotspur||£7m|
|2015-16||Riyad Mahrez||Leicester City||£400k|