Over the years, football, as much as it’s played on the pitch, has become a game of money.
To dumb it down to a five-year-old’s understanding, in the modern world, you cannot have a successful football club without spending cash. A lot of cash.
European football has led the way in terms of creating a market for top players who instantly add value to a club from the moment they put on the jersey.
Adding value to a club reciprocates to the payer’s value also rising abnormally, considering the high stakes placed on a single football match today.
As of March 23, 2021, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford was listed as the World’s Most Valuable Player, according to a research conducted by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) Football Observatory.
CIES developed an algorithm to evaluate the transfer value of professional football players on a scientific basis.
Here’s a list of your favourite club’s top valued footballer from the five major European leagues:
Manchester United – Marcus Rashford
It’s no surprise Marcus Rashford is the Red Devil’s main asset. Of Man United’s entire estimated transfer value, the 23-year-old attacker represents almost 15 per cent (14.8), with an estimated transfer value of around 150 million euros.
Borussia Dortmund – Erling Haaland
Arguably one of the best strikers of the ball on the planet right now, Erling Haaland could be the most-sought striker in the coming transfer window. After joining Dortmund in December 2019, the 20-year-old Norwegian has risen in value to claim 21.5 per cent of Dortmund’s entire transfer value. He is estimated to be worth 150-200 million euros in value.
Atletico Madrid – Joao Felix
Signed from Benfica in July 2019, Portuguese youngster Joao Felix holds 17.9 per cent of Los Colchoneros entire transfer value. The 21-year-old is estimated to be worth 150 million euros in value, having only made just over 50 appearances for Atletico.
Manchester City – Phil Foden
20-year-old Phil Foden is Manchester City’s Most Valuable Player, commanding 10 per cent of the club’s total transfer value. Having only scored 12 goals for the Cityzens in 63 appearances, Foden’s worth is estimated to be around 120-150 million euros.
Paris St Germain – Kylian Mbappe
French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe is on top of PSG’s Most Valuable list, with 22.3 per cent of the club’s whole transfer value. After joining PSG from Monaco in August 2017, the 22-year-old has already bagged 100 goals in the Ligue 1 and has an estimated transfer value of between 120-150 million euros.
Arsenal – Bukayo Saka
Many Arsenal fans would be surprised by this, but Pierre Emerick Aubameyang isn’t the club’s most valuable player, but England international Bukayo Saka. CIES estimated Saka’s transfer value to be around 120-150 million euros, with a huge 20 per cent stake in the club’s transfer value.
Chelsea – Timo Werner
Chelsea’s summer overhaul saw them sign German striker Timo Werner from RB Leipzig. Werner, though not impressive yet for The Blues, holds 11.1 per cent of Chelsea’s estimated transfer value, with a projected transfer value of 90-120 million euros. He has scored only five goals in 28 appearances for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Liverpool – Trent-Alexander Arnold
Even though this season’s perfomances have proven how Virgil Van Dijk is important for Liverpool, he is not their most valuable asset. 22-year-old England right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is. After being elevated from the youth setup by Jurgen Klopp, Arnold has developed into one of the world’s best at his position, helping the club to recent Champions League and Premier League glory. Her has already made 119 appearances for Liverpool and scored 7 goals.
Bayern Munich – Alphonso Davies
20-year-old Canadian Alphonso Boyle Davies commands 14.4 per cent of Bayern Munich’s whole estimated transfer value. Born in a refugee camp in Buduburam, Ghana, his parents moved to Liberia’s capital Monrovia, but fled to Canada during the Second Liberian Civil War. He has made over 50 appearances for the Bavarians, scoring 5 goals and is considered the world’s best left back. His transfer value is also estimated to be around 90-120 million euros.
FC Barcelona – Frenkie De Jong
Yes. No. It’s not Lionel Messi, but Dutch midfield maestro Frenkie De Jong. After joining Barcelona from Ajax in August 2019, 23-year-old De Jong has risen to become Blaugrana’s most valuable transfer asset, with an estimated transfer value of between 90-120 million euros. He holds 11.8 per cent of Barcelona’s full estimated transfer value.
Juventus – Matthijs de Ligt
Another young Dutchman is also Juventus’ most valuable transfer asset. After joining The Old Lady from Ajax in July 2019, De Ligt’s value has risen to an estimated 90-120 million euros, with a 12 per cent stake in the club’s entire projected transfer value. He has scored only 4 goals for Juventus in 45 appearances.
Tottenham Hotspur – Harry Kane
Quite obvious, England’s number 9 is Tottenham Hotspurs most valued player. Having made his first senior appearance for Spurs in August 2011, Kane has gone on to become one of the most lethal strikers in world football. His estimated transfer value is between 90-120 million euros and holds 14.1 per cent of Spurs’ entire estimated transfer value. He has scored 160 goals for Spurs over more than 230 appearances.
Inter Milan – Lautaro Martinez
Inter Milan’s Argentinian striker Lautaro Javier Martínez boasts 14.6 per cent of the club’s whole estimated transfer value. Valued at an estimated 90-120 million euros, Martinez has also risen to become one of Europe’s most-sought strikers, after scoring 34 goals in just 89 appearances for Antonio Conte’s side.
Real Madrid – Vinicius Junior
Brazilian youngster Vinicius Junior is surely reaping the rewards after getting the nod from head coach Zinedine Zidane. Signed from Sau Paulo at the age of 18, Vinicius became the first-ever Real Madrid senior player to be born in the 2000s. He commands 9.8 per cent of Los Blancos’ entire estimated transfer value, with a projected value of around 70-90 million euros.
AC Milan – Theo Hernandez
Also a World Cup winner with France, AC Milan’s left-back Theo Hernandez holds 13.8 of AC Milan’s entire estimated transfer value. The 23-year-old has scored 10 goals for AC Milan in 57 appearances and is estimated to be between 50-70 million euros in transfer value.