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Cardiff City Transfer History: Records and Statistics

Cardiff City Football Club

Nickname – The Bluebirds

Best PL finish – 20th (2013/14)

Cardiff City have perennially been in the lower leagues, and top-flight experience has been rare. They gained promotion to the Premier League in 2013/14 but went down straight back the following season. Prior to that, they had last been in the top division in 1962. Long time back, isn’t it?

The Bluebirds are back this season, following an incredible campaign last time out in the Championship. Neil Warnock’s side defied expectations to gain direct promotion last May. At the beginning of the season, Cardiff were the odds-on favourites to go down. As of now, they are staying afloat, but just.

Having lurked at the wrong end of the table all season, it will be some achievement if they avoid the drop. However, Cardiff have a habit of defying the general consensus, so don’t be surprised if it happens again.

Top 5 Record Transfer Fees (as of 04/02/19)

  1. Emiliano Sala – £15 million (from Nantes – January 2019)*
  2. Gary Medel – £11 m (from Sevilla – August 2013)
  3. Josh Murphy – £11 m (from Norwich City – June 2018)
  4. Bobby Reid – £10 m (from Bristol City – June 2018)
  5. Steven Caulker – £8 m (from Tottenham Hotspur – July 2013)

*Fee officially undisclosed but believed to be £15 million.

(Figures include initial fees in GBP at the time of the transfer, as reported by the BBC unless specified otherwise)

Biggest flop – Andreas Cornelius

Cardiff reached the Premier League in 2013, and that seemed an occasion as good as any to splash some money. They broke their transfer record thrice that summer, and the first of those three arrivals was Andreas Cornelius. The striker was signed from FC Copenhagen for £7.5 million, and it’s safe to say that the investment was not worth it.

Cornelius lasted for just six months in the Premier League, making just 8 appearances for Cardiff. He scored no goals, which was in stark contrast to the 18 he had scored the season before. Injuries and chemistry issues meant that he could never settle in, and he moved back to Copenhagen in January for much less than his arrival fee.

Owner Vincent Tan called manager Malky Mackay an ‘idiot’ over the affair. “Yes, I ended up being a waste of money for him but that may be Tan’s own fault,” said Cornelius later on. He currently plays for Bordeaux in France.

Biggest bargain – David Marshall

Cardiff signed David Marshall for a measly £500,000 in 2009. The goalkeeper moved to Wales from Norwich City following the Canaries’ relegation to League 1. He was one of the best bargain deals the Bluebirds have ever made.

Marshall played for seven full seasons at the club, making 264 appearances in total. He was a constant presence during the sticks for them, and his consistency never wavered. In the 2012/13 season in the Championship, he kept 18 clean sheets, which was the highest in the league.

In his maiden Premier League season in 2013/14, Marshall made 153 saves, which were more than any other keeper in the league. He won the Cardiff City Player of the Year award for his exploits in goal. Marshall left Cardiff for newly promoted Hull City in 2016 for a fee of around £5 million. He is still with the Tigers, who are currently 13th in the Championship.

Records and trivia

  • Cardiff City made no money by selling their players in the summer transfer window, and they were accompanied by four more Premier League teams in doing the same.
  • 17 players in the Cardiff squad are on loan or signed for less than £1 million.
  • Joe Ralls and Aron Gunnarsson are the longest serving players at the club, both of whom have been at the club since 2011.
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