English players and clubs rank highly in a new list of estimated transfer values released by a respected international football research group.
France star Kylian Mbappe tops the rankings for Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues produced by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) Football Observatory, but the next six places are occupied by either English or Premier League players.
Liverpool have Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in that group and also possess the highest-ranked player in every defensive position, while Leicester midfielder and reported Manchester United target James Maddison also features prominently.
Better than Messi?
After Mbappe, rated by the CIES at a value of 265.2million euros (£225.4m) which would break the world record held by his Paris St Germain team-mate Neymar, England have four players valued higher in the study than Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
The CIES model draws on a player’s performance for his club and national team, his age and position, as well as the league he plays in and the “economic level” of both his club and those potentially wishing to sign him.
The Premier League’s financial strength therefore adds to the estimated value of its players while Messi’s age, 32, counts against him.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling is the only player other than Mbappe rated above 200m euros at 223.7m (£190.1m), with a drop-off to third-placed Salah at 175.1m euros (£148.8m).
He and Mane sandwich Borussia Dortmund’s fourth-ranked England international Jadon Sancho (168.9m euros/£143.5m), with Tottenham and Manchester United’s respective England strikers Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford also ranked ahead of eighth-placed Messi.
The Argentina forward’s 125.5m-euro estimate and club-mate Antoine Griezmann at 123.6m make them the last two £100m players in the list (£106.7m and £105m respectively).
Maddison ranks 12th at 112.4m euros (£95.5m), the highest-ranked midfielder in a list dominated by attackers, while 20 players break the nine-figure barrier in euros, the last being Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku at 100.2m (£85.2m).
Reds’ defensive dominance
Premier League front-runners Liverpool have not reproduced their clean-sheet record from last season but the CIES study still thinks highly of their defence.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the highest-valued full-back at 110.5m euros (£93.9m), which ranks him 15th overall and sees him join Maddison as the only non-forwards over 100m euros.
Virgil Van Dijk is the top-rated centre-back, 29th overall at 92.7m euros (£78.8m), while Alisson Becker is five places back as the number one goalkeeper at 87.6m euros (£74.4m).
Forward Roberto Firmino is ranked 14th overall, one place and 1m euros ahead of Alexander-Arnold. Just behind the young full-back is Richarlison at 104m euros (£88.4m), providing some solace for rivals Everton.
Changing of the guard
Age is a significant factor in the rankings. The top 20 players have an average age of just over 24, with Messi the only player over 30 in that section.
Neymar, 27, just sneaks in in 19th at 110.4m euros (£85.3m), a far cry from his record £200.6million move to France in 2017, while Messi’s long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, now 34, ranks 49th at 80.3m euros (£68.2m).
Other young England players to rank highly in the study include Chelsea pair Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount at £87.6m and £80m respectively, Tottenham’s Dele Alli at £81.2m and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, three places ahead of Ronaldo and valued at £69.6m.