Most valuable under-23s
Football clubs across Europe are always on the lookout for the next big thing, but the stars of tomorrow do not come cheap. Using data from Transfermarkt, we've listed the 25 most valuable players under the age of 23 today...
18= James Maddison, Leicester (£54m)
Manchester United have been sniffing around Maddison in recent months, but the attacking midfielder won’t come cheap. The Leicester man has scored six goals and provided three assists in the Premier League this term, and his value has steadily risen since he joined the Foxes in 2018.
18= Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich (£54m)
Coman is still only 23 but he’s already won more than most players do in their entire careers. The France international is a seven-time league champion with PSG, Juventus and current club Bayern Munich, who paid just £19m to sign him permanently in 2017.
18= Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (£54m)
Pulisic has already experienced highs and lows during his Chelsea career, which began following a £58m move from Borussia Dortmund last summer. The forward started the season slowly, then scored six goals in seven games in the autumn, before being struck down with an abductor injury.
18= Davinson Sanchez, Tottenham (£54m)
Sanchez has been one of Tottenham’s standout performers this season. The Colombian has grown in stature since signing for Spurs in 2017, and is now regarded by Transfermarkt as one of the world’s most valuable centre-backs under the age of 23.
18= Fabian Ruiz, Napoli (£54m)
It’s been a turbulent campaign for Napoli, who have seen Carlo Ancelotti depart and owner Aurelio De Laurentiis wage war with senior squad members. Ruiz has been a rare bright spot for the Partenopei, who could face a battle to keep the midfielder beyond this season.
18= Federico Chiesa, Fiorentina (£54m)
Fiorentina have done well to keep hold of their prized asset for this long, but the 22-year-old may be developing itchy feet. La Viola are down in 13th place in Serie A despite Chiesa’s contributions, and Juventus may well renew their interest this summer.
18= Richarlison, Everton (£54m)
Marco Silva’s man has continued to thrive under Carlo Ancelotti, who has tended to deploy him up front in the early days of his Everton tenure. Richarlison also helped Brazil win the Copa America last year, which no doubt further boosted the 22-year-old’s value.
18= Mikel Oyarzabal, Real Sociedad (£54m)
Pep Guardiola is reportedly a huge fan of Oyarzabal, which tells you everything you need to know about the Real Sociedad midfielder. The left-sided forward has scored seven goals and provided four assists in La Liga this season, earning links with Manchester City among others.
17. Tanguy Ndombele, Tottenham (£58m)
Ndombele’s season has been disrupted by injury, but he’s still shown enough quality to convince Tottenham fans that he’s worth persevering with. Spurs broke their transfer record to sign the midfielder for £55m last summer, and Transfermarkt reckon his value has risen since then.
14= Lucas Hernandez, Bayern Munich (£63m)
Hernandez became Bayern’s most expensive purchase of all time when they shelled out £68m for his services in 2019. The centre-back has missed most of this season through injury, but there’s no doubt that he has a bright future ahead of him.
14= Arthur Melo, Barcelona (£63m)
Arthur has started only eight games in La Liga this season, but he’s still one of the most promising players in the division. The midfield metronome has been likened to Xavi Hernandez for his passing ability, and Barcelona are unlikely to sell him even if Transfermarkt’s £63m valuation is met.
14= Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City (£63m)
Jesus’ future at Manchester City is unclear. The striker has played second fiddle to Sergio Aguero for much of his Premier League career, but the Argentinian is likely to depart the Etihad Stadium next year. If City decide to cash in, they could expect to fetch around £63m.
11= Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona (£67m)
Dembele has generated headlines ever since he moved to Barcelona, and not only for positive reasons. The Frenchman possesses wonderful natural talent, though, and it’s easy to forget that he’s still just 22 years of age.
11= Timo Werner, RB Leipzig (£67m)
RB Leipzig have a four-point lead over the chasing pack at the midway point of the Bundesliga season. Werner has been a key part of the club’s success in recent years, and that’s very much the case this season too: the £67m-rated striker has scored 20 goals in 18 matches.
11= Matthijs de Ligt, Juventus (£67m)
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for De Ligt since his move to Juventus last summer. The Dutchman has made some costly errors at times, but the Bianconeri know more than most that class is permanent. Most clubs in Europe would want the former Ajax man in their squad.
8= Marcus Rashford, Manchester United (£72m)
Manchester United have endured an underwhelming season, but their predicament would be even worse if it wasn’t for Rashford. The England international has scored 14 Premier League goals in 2019/20 and may begin to consider his future if there are no signs of progress at Old Trafford in the next couple of years.
8= Lautaro Martinez, Inter (£72m)
Inter took a risk in loaning Mauro Icardi to PSG last summer, but Antonio Conte’s decision has been vindicated. Romelu Lukaku and Martinez have formed a superb partnership up front, with the Argentinian reportedly attracting the interest of Barcelona for his recent displays.
8= Rodri, Manchester City (£72m)
Rodri became the priciest player in Manchester City’s history when he joined for £62.8m last summer. Pep Guardiola wasted little time in triggering the midfielder’s release clause at Atletico Madrid, and the Spaniard has repaid his manager’s faith so far this season.
5= Dele Alli, Tottenham (£81m)
Alli didn’t make the progress he would have liked in 2018/19, but there are tentative signs that he’s getting back to his best under Jose Mourinho. The England international has scored six goals in all competitions since the Portuguese’s arrival, and will be hoping to continue in the same vein in the run-up to Euro 2020.
5= Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona (£81m)
Whereas Matthijs de Ligt was linked with numerous clubs before joining Juventus last summer, De Jong’s future was resolved rather quickly. Barcelona always looked like the ideal destination for the former Ajax star, who’s already become a key player at the Camp Nou.
5= Kai Havertz, Bayer Leverkusen (£81m)
Havertz made his Bayer Leverkusen debut as a 16-year-old back in 2016, and he’s already racked up more than 100 Bundesliga appearances at the age of 20. Bayern Munich are long-term admirers of a midfielder who’s earned comparisons with Michael Ballack ever since he broke into the first team.
4. Joao Felix, Atletico Madrid (£90m)
Diego Simeone identified Felix as the man to replace Antoine Griezmann before the start of the season, spending a whopping £113m to land the forward from Benfica. Transfermarkt believe he was slightly overpriced, but he’s still among the most valuable under-23s on the planet.
3. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool (£99m)
Alexander-Arnold continues to reinvent the right-back role, regularly running games for Liverpool from a position that was previously considered unfashionable. He’s already the best player in his position in the world, and at 21 years of age has plenty of time for further development.
2. Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortmund (£108m)
With game time hard to come by at Manchester City, Sancho took the inspired decision to join Borussia Dortmund in 2017. Since then he’s become one of the most in-demand players on the planet, with numerous European heavyweights likely to queue up for his signature this summer.
1. Kylian Mbappe, PSG (£200m)
It’s no surprise that Mbappe heads this list, with the France international having already achieved so much in the game before his 22nd birthday. A world champion with his country, the forward will be eyeing the European crown with PSG this season – and then, who knows?
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