The 10 most valuable players in the world according to CIES: Pedri 4th…

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Barcelona's Pedri celebrates scoring in La Liga against Sevilla at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain. April 3, 2022. Credit: PA Images
Barcelona's Pedri celebrates scoring in La Liga against Sevilla at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain. April 3, 2022. Credit: PA Images

As the transfer window opens, some of the most valuable players in the world could be on the move. The CIES Football Observatory has ranked the top players in the world by their transfer value and we’ve taken a look at the top 10.

The rankings are based upon a whole range of factors, and there are clear trends on display from the top 10 list.

Every single player is aged 25 or younger, highlighting the value in up and coming talent over older, proven stars, and all of them play for Champions League level clubs. Contract length, age, marketability and ability are among the factors that come into play when determining a player’s value.

Some of those on the list have already confirmed moves for this summer while others have been linked away. But the top clubs wouldn’t want to lose such valuable talent, and extortionate prices will need to be paid to secure one of these stars.

Despite the ‘English premium’ being applied to players such as Jack Grealish, only two England players make the top 10, with Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka all narrowly missing out.

Here’s how CIES have ranked them.

10. Ferran Torres

Torres was an exciting talent at Manchester City but spent less than two seasons in the Premier League after joining from Valencia in 2020, returning to Spain in January when Barcelona came calling.

The 22-year-old moved to Camp Nou for around £50million despite Barcelona’s financial struggles and has had a decent return to La Liga so far, with four goals and four assists in 17 starts.

His CIES value of €109.5million will likely shoot up should Torres and Spain excel in the upcoming World Cup.

9. Ruben Dias

Manchester City struck gold when they paid around £60million to Benfica for the Portugal centre-back, with outstanding performances from the minute he arrived – such that Dias won the Premier League Player of the Season award.

CIES value him at €109.6million, and there is no chance Dias departs the Etihad any time soon.

8. Luis Diaz

Another export from Liga NOS, Diaz joined Liverpool in January for around £38million, and they’ve not looked back.

With a CIES value of €110million, the sky is the limit for the Colombian winger.

What. A. Player.

7. Frenkie de Jong

Louis van Gaal had clearly been doing his research, as he quoted the CIES value of Frenkie de Jong in his post-match press conference after the Netherlands beat Wales in the Nations League.

“Frenkie de Jong does bring an extra quality, of course. That is why he is also worth €112 million,” the former Manchester United manager said.

Barcelona midfielder De Jong has been strongly linked with a move away as Xavi looks to generate funds to rebuild his side, and United are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old.

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag talks with Frenkie de Jong during a Eredivisie game. Johan Cruyff Arena, March 2019. Credit: PA Images
Ajax manager Erik ten Hag talks with Frenkie de Jong during a Eredivisie game. Johan Cruyff Arena, March 2019. Credit: PA Images

READ: Everything Erik ten Hag and Frenkie de Jong have said about each other

6. Phil Foden

Manchester City’s rising star is one of the most promising talents English football has ever seen, and CIES values the midfielder at €124million.

In reality, though, it would take a lot more than that to convince Pep Guardiola to part ways with the 22-year-old.

Foden has made 169 appearances for City, scoring 45 times and assisting 33, and already has a bigger trophy cabinet than most players finish their careers with.

5. Jude Bellingham

A teenager so good that Birmingham City retired his shirt number when he left, the Borussia Dortmund star is tearing apart the Bundesliga at just 18 years of age.

With a CIES valuation of €133.7million, Bellingham is almost certain to move again in the future with Europe’s biggest clubs circling, but they would have to stump up a gigantic fee to land the England international. Unless he runs down his contract, that is.

4. Pedri

The most recent winner of the Golden Boy award, Pedri has been a shining star in an otherwise dismal season for Barcelona.

The 19-year-old is already drawing comparisons with Andres Iniesta, and has been valued at €135.1million.

With a release clause of €1billion, it’s pretty safe to say that Barcelona will not be entertaining any bids for Pedri.

“Aside from the nutmeg, which is a small detail, it’s how he understands the game, goes between the lines and goes behind the midfield pivots”, Xavi told Marca after a win over Athletic Bilbao in February.

“He reminds me a lot of Andres Iniesta. If we’re talking about pure talent, Pedri is the best in the world. He is a wonderful player. I haven’t seen many talents like him.”

3. Erling Haaland

Manchester City have secured the services of the most in-demand striker in the world, with an initial fee of around £55million, but rumoured agent and signing fees will take the deal well over £100million.

The Norweigan star is already one of the best players in the world at the age of 21 and is valued at €152.6million.

Despite his move to the Etihad, Haaland looks destined to make another big move to a European giant in the future, and it would likely take an astronomical fee to secure the future of a player who has been mooted as a long-term Cristiano Ronaldo replacement at the top of the footballing world.

2. Vinicius Jr

A La Liga title, 40 goals and assists and the winner in the Champions League final will all have contributed a lot to Vinicius Junior’s rise in value.

The Brazilian Real Madrid star is given a price of €185.3million by CIES, but Real Madrid will not want to sell him for any money. Vinicius is reportedly set to sign a bumper new contract with Los Blancos.

After a few difficult seasons, the 21-year-old is now at the top of his game and on top of the world.

1. Kylian Mbappe

Real Madrid looked set to land the bargain of the century by landing Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from PSG until his last-minute U-turn which saw him sign a new contract to stay in Paris.

Now valued at €205.6million, the 23-year-old is the most valuable player in the world and is well on his way to becoming the best in the world.

He’s already won nearly everything on offer, except the Champions League, and he will be hoping to change that to bring European glory to the French capital soon.

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