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Top 10 most valuable U19 football players currently

Published at :February 17, 2024 at 11:37 PM
Modified at :February 17, 2024 at 11:37 PM
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Dhruv Sharma

Emerging gems who are shaping the future of football

In the ever-evolving landscape of world football, the emergence of young talent is a constant source of excitement for fans and pundits alike. As the sport continues to evolve, a new generation of prodigious talents under the age of 19 have captured the attention of the footballing world. These young stars not only exhibit extraordinary skill and athleticism but also carry the weight of immense potential, shaping the future of the beautiful game.

Leading the pack is a diverse array of players from different continents and footballing cultures, each possessing a unique set of skills that sets them apart. From electrifying forwards with an eye for goal to composed defenders, these talented youngsters are the focal points of their respective teams. Clubs and national teams are investing heavily in nurturing these prodigies, recognizing the pivotal role they will play in the sport’s future landscape.

While their market values continue to soar, these sensations are not merely statistical assets; they embody the essence of the sport’s ongoing evolution, their stories inspire a new generation of aspiring players and captivate the hearts of football enthusiasts worldwide.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most valuable youngsters in football currently:

10. Arthur Vermeeren – €30M

Renowned for its role in nurturing young talents, the Belgian Pro League has garnered a reputation for fostering emerging players, with Arthur Vermeeren standing out as the most exceptional prospect among them. At the tender age of 19, Vermeeren has already notched up more than 60 senior appearances, showcasing a level of experience beyond his years. This season, he assumed the captain’s role for Antwerp in a Champions League fixture against Porto. He has now signed for the LaLiga giants: Atletico Madrid.

In 2023, Vermeeren experienced a breakout year, witnessing the third-highest market value surge among teenage midfielders. Starting at a modest €500k in January, his value skyrocketed to an impressive €30 million by the year’s end.

9. Rico Lewis – €38M

The 19-year-old has undergone a remarkable ascent since making a late substitute appearance for Kyle Walker in a 4-0 victory against Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium, in the first home match of the 2022-23 campaign.

Since then, he has participated in more than 30 matches, showcasing versatility in Manchester City’s defence by playing on both the right and left, and even adapting to a midfield role within their innovative 3-2-4-1 system. Lewis’s progress has been recognised by England too and could be a part of the England’s Euro 2024 squad.

8. Vitor Roque – €40M

In July, Barcelona secured a deal to acquire Roque from Athletico-PR, with the player signing a seven-year contract. Before making a €40M move this January, the 18-year-old found the net 28 times in 80 appearances with his former club, with 21 of those goals coming in 44 matches during the year 2023.

Since his joining, he has settled in Xavi’s playing style, he has already appeared in 5 matches. He has had an immediate effect on the team, he already has 2 goals in the LaLiga this season. Xavi would be looking to explore the option of playing Roque in their Champions League clash against Napoli.

7. Joao Neves – €45M

At the age of 19, Neves has amassed more than 45 senior appearances for Benfica and earned three caps for the Portugal national team. He has filled the void left by Enzo Fernandes. Neves has also emerged as a target for Manchester United in recent months.

Joao Neves, recognized for his mature and advanced mental attributes since youth, is known for his agility, technicality, and impressive passing and tackling skills. Known for quick reactions, close ball control, stamina, and composure under pressure, he excels in retaining possession in tight spaces. Despite a slight frame, Neves impressively ranks high in winning aerial battles.

6. Endrick – €45M

Endrick football
Endrick will look to make his name at Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s summer 2024 acquisition, Palmeiras wonderkid Endrick, has become the focal point of discussions in Brazilian football. With a debut for the national team, 13 league goals, and back-to-back league championships, the 17-year-old’s market value is on a steady rise, nearing the fee paid by Real Madrid.

Experiencing a €20 million boost to reach €45 million, Endrick has attained the pinnacle of market value in Brazil and ranks among the seven most valuable teenagers in international football, surpassing his compatriot, Paranaense striker Vitor Roque.

5. Mathys Tel – €50M

Tel is recognized for his speed, scoring effectiveness, and skillful dribbling, inviting comparisons to French compatriots Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema. Since joining Bayern Munich in 2022, he has made more than 50 appearances for the Bavarians which justifies his value.

Given the limited wing options in Bayern’s squad this season with only Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry in the squad, Tel might have increased opportunities for playing time.

4. Warren Zaire-Emery – €60M

Achieving the status of a regular player at one of Europe’s premier clubs before even reaching adulthood is a remarkable feat, and Warren Zaire-Emery has accomplished just that. At the age of 17, he serves as a dynamic force in the midfield, operating from the base with distinction, he is also PSG’s youngest-ever player.

Zaire-Emery has already accumulated an impressive tally of over 50 first-team appearances for Paris Saint-Germain, showcasing his maturity and skill on the pitch. Additionally, he has earned the privilege of representing France’s senior national team, a testament to his extraordinary talent and the high regard in which he is held within the footballing world.

3. Lamine Yamal – €60M

At the tender age of sixteen, possessing prodigious talent, and heralded as the future of both Barcelona and Spain, some individuals seem to be blessed with an abundance of fortune. This young phenom not only carries the weight of immense potential but also symbolizes the promising trajectory that lies ahead for both club and country.

He is widely regarded as one of the most promising young players in the world. At the age of 16 years and 213 days, he achieved the distinction of being the youngest player to record over 10 goal and assist contributions in LaLiga.

2. Evan Ferguson – €65M

Evan Ferguson football
Ferguson made his international debut in 2022

Making a significant impact during the 2022-23 season, striker Evan Ferguson emerged as a rising star with 10 goals in 25 appearances across all competitions for Brighton. Praised by Premier League legend Alan Shearer as ‘the real deal’, the 19-year-old Republic of Ireland international appears to be a reminiscent talent of England legend Harry Kane and is poised for a promising ascent to the pinnacle of the footballing world.

Whether using his left foot, right foot, executing headers, showcasing pace, aggression, or intuition, there is no apparent weakness in his game.

1. Gavi – €90M

Earning a reputation as a spirited force on the field, Barcelona’s tenacious midfielder is far from just a Tiki Taka Lee Cattermole, as evidenced by his substantial €90 million valuation. As the highest-valued teenager in this season’s Champions League, the Spanish midfielder played a crucial role in Barcelona’s successful progression through the group stages, marking their first advancement since the 2020-21 season.

Winner of the 2022 Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy is renowned for his intelligent passing and impressive speed, the 19-year-old has rightfully drawn comparisons to Camp Nou legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

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