The 20 most valuable players in Europe's top 5 leagues - ranked

Jan 6, 2021, 4:00 PM GMT
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah
Where do Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mane rank among the most valuable players in Europe? | Michael Regan/Getty Images
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The CIES Football Observatory has released its twice annual list of the most valuable players in Europe's top five leagues - Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1.

The transfer values are objectively determined by an algorithm that takes into account a number of factors, including age and length of contract. Attacking players are typically worth more, while younger players hold more long-term value than older players because of market inflation in future.

A player's current ability alone will not necessarily line up with their objective transfer value. Lionel Messi, for example, only just breaks into the top 100 because he is 33 and is just six months away from potentially becoming a free agent, while Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't make the top 100 because he is nearly 36 and is nearing the end of his career. That is despite both still being world class.

20. Frenkie de Jong - €105.7m

Frenkie De Jong
Frenkie de Jong joined Barcelona from Ajax in 2019 | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Club: Barcelona
Age: 23
Position: Centre midfielder
Contract: 2026

Barcelona landed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax in 2019 and have already seen his value soar from the €75m they invested in his services.

19. Harry Kane - €107m

Harry Kane
Harry Kane is Tottenham & England's chief goal threat | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Club: Tottenham
Age: 27
Position: Striker
Contract: 2024

Harry Kane is now at his peak ability, although a history of injuries in the past few seasons has perhaps hurt his overall value.

18. Ansu Fati - €108.4m

Anssumane Fati
Ansu Fati has still not even turned 20 | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Club: Barcelona
Age: 18
Position: Winger
Contract: 2022

Ansu Fati's contract may only run until 2022 but Barcelona hold an option to extend by two further years, effectively making it a long-term deal.

17. Mason Mount - €109.3m

Mason Mount
Mason Mount has made the breakthrough at Chelsea | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Club: Chelsea
Age: 21
Position: Attacking midfield
Contract: 2024

Mason Mount's long-term potential and long-term contract has pushed his transfer value over the €100m following a fine breakout season in 2019/20.

16. Achraf Hakimi - €113.7m

Achraf Hakimi
Achraf Hakimi started out at Real Madrid | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Club: Inter
Age: 22
Position: Full-back
Contract: 2025

Inter paid an estimated €40m to buy Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid in 2020, which is only a fraction of his estimated transfer value now.

15. Bukayo Saka - €116.2m

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka is Arsenal's shining hope for the future | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Club: Arsenal
Age: 19
Position: Winger
Contract: 2024

If Arsenal are to rediscover and bring back the glory days, building the new-look around Bukayo Saka will go a long way to achieving it.

14. Sadio Mane - €123.8m

Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane has helped take Liverpool to new heights | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Club: Liverpool
Age: 28
Position: Winger
Contract: 2023

Sadio Mane has consistently improved over the last eight years, from his first big break at Red Bull Salzburg to now at Liverpool. But his peak will end.

13. Ruben Dias - €126.8m

Ruben Dias
Man City invested heavily in Ruben Dias | Pool/Getty Images

Club: Manchester City
Age: 23
Position: Centre-back
Contract: 2026

Manchester City made Ruben Dias their most expensive defender ever in 2020 when they signed him from Benfica and he is already a mainstay.

12. Mohamed Salah - €134m

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah has been at his peak while at Liverpool | Pool/Getty Images


Club: Liverpool
Age: 28
Position: Winger
Contract: 2023

Edging towards the age of 30 and a contract that expires in just a over two years are the things stopping Mohamed Salah's value being higher.

11. Timo Werner - €135.1m

Timo Werner
Chelsea won the race to sign Timo Werner in 2020 | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Club: Chelsea
Age: 24
Position: Striker
Contract: 2025

Timo Werner is yet to hit the heights expected of him at Chelsea, although it is safe to say the Blues bought him well below market value.

10. Kai Havertz - €136m

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz is the most expensive German player ever | Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Club: Chelsea
Age: 21
Position: Attacking midfield
Contract: 2025

Kai Havertz is another struggling to find his feet since moving to Chelsea, but at 21 he still has plenty of time to realise that potential.

9. Raheem Sterling - €136.9m

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has improved massively since 2017 | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Club: Manchester City
Age: 26
Position: Winger
Contract: 2023

Raheem Sterling has enjoyed a phenomenal few years at Manchester City under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, but his future is reaching a crossroad.

8. Alphonso Davies - €139.2m

Alphonso Davies
Alphonso Davies is a generational talent for Canada | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 20
Position: Full-back
Contract: 2025

Alphonso Davies burst onto the scene at Bayern Munich in 2019/20. Despite previously being a winger, he made the left-back berth his own.

7. Joao Felix - €141.5m

Joao Felix
Atletico Madrid are starting to see more from Joao Felix | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Club: Atletico Madrid
Age: 21
Position: Striker
Contract: 2026

Atletico Madrid refused to shed any tears over Antoine Griezmann in 2019 because they landed Joao Felix, who is now starting to realise his potential.

6. Jadon Sancho - €148.3m

Jadon Sancho
Borussia Dortmund have developed Jadon Sancho since 2017 | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 20
Position: Winger
Contract: 2023

Jadon Sancho is a prime example of a player whose objective transfer value may not always match up with his real life valuation because Borussia Dortmund were willing to sell for €120m in 2020.

5. Kylian Mbappe - €149.4m

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Lorient - Ligue 1
Kylian Mbappe has won more than 10 trophies by age 22 | Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Age: 22
Position: Winger
Contract: 2022

Kylian Mbappe's transfer value has been hurt by the fact that he has only 18 months left on his contract. Otherwise, the number would be much higher.

4. Bruno Fernandes - €151.1m

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes has transformed Man Utd | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Club: Manchester United
Age: 26
Position: Attacking midfield
Contract: 2025

It seems that Manchester United bought Bruno Fernandes at the right time, just as he hits his peak years, but with long-term upside to preserve value.

3. Trent Alexander-Arnold - €151.6m

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold is redefining the modern full-back role | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Club: Liverpool
Age: 22
Position: Full-back
Contract: 2024

Trent Alexander-Arnold was vital to Liverpool's Premier League title win in 2019/20 and could be at the top of the game for another 10 years.

2. Erling Haaland - €152m

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland scored 44 goals aged 19 last season | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 20
Position: Striker
Contract: 2024

Erling Haaland has scored 61 goals and counting at club level since the start of last season, although a release clause expected to become active in 2022 could limit what he is actually transferred for.

1. Marcus Rashford - €165.6m

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford still has years at the top ahead of him | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Club: Manchester United
Age: 23
Position: Winger
Contract: 2023

Marcus Rashford has improved year on year as a Manchester United player and still has plenty of room to get better still over the long-term.

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