A lot is expected from this current generation of stars in the coming years.
Most Valuable Footballers: With the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi hegemony nearing its end, the world of football is seeing a new crop of players burst onto the world stage, challenging to be the heir to the footballing throne. The likes of Erling Haaland, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho are the torchbearers, not only for their clubs but for the future of football as a whole.
We at Khel Now bring you a rundown of the top 10 most valuable players who were born after the turn of the century, as per the CIES Football Observatory.
10. Moise Kean – €46m
The Italian attacker was a sensation in his debut campaign for Juventus, with his tenacious pressing and his fierce shot. Kean’s early days at Everton may not have exactly gone to plan but with the arrival of compatriot, Carlo Ancelotti at the helm of the club, the wonderboy’s game seems to have gone up a level or two, cementing his position as one of the best prospects on the planet.
9. Phil Foden – €50.4m
It is fair to say that Phil Foden is highly rated at Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola coming out and claiming that the 19-year-old was one of the most talented players he had ever coached, putting him in a rather spectacular company. Foden is still trying to break into the City first team as a regular but is seen by many as a long term replacement for David Silva.
8. Mason Greenwood – €50.6m
It would be a rather difficult task to find a Manchester United fan who is loath to wax lyrical about the abilities of Mason Greenwood. The youngster is tearing it up in his first full season as a first-team player with 12 goals to his name as of March, most of which have been scored in substitute appearances.
The 18-year-old has garnered the attention of fans and pundits alike with his ambidexterity and lethal finishing abilities that stand in comparison to a certain Robin Van Persie. Quite high praise for the youngster.
7. Eduardo Camavinga – €53m
Making 31 first-team appearances at just 17 years of age is no mean feat. But it is exactly what Stade Rennais’ Eduardo Camavinga has managed. The Frenchman’s stature belies his years and his performances in Ligue 1 have drawn interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool. However, any club that is in for him would have to pay a hefty fee that is estimated to be around €53m.
The midfielder could also be seen as the long term heir to N’Golo Kante’s spot in the French national side, as the pair have very similar attributes of ball retrieval and tackling in the middle of the park.
6. Ferran Torres – €55.2m
The Spaniard is gifted with the ability to play anywhere along the front line, having put in shifts in almost every attacking position in midfield and upfront for Valencia this season. His low centre of gravity and quick incisive passing make him an archetypical Spanish attacker. However, it is his remarkable strength on the ball that makes him such a desirable prospect for the likes of FC Barcelona.
While the midfielder does have his share of weaknesses, he is without a doubt, one of Spanish football’s brightest prospects.
5. Callum Hudson-Odoi – €72.3m
The Chelsea wonder-kid is quickly making a name for himself at Stamford Bridge as a part of Frank Lampard’s new-look Chelsea side. The 19-year-old attacker has impressed with his pace and strength, taking on some of the world’s best full-backs over the course of his short career.
Hudson-Odoi was also the subject of very serious interest from Bayern Munich in the summer gone by but decided to stay and fight for a regular spot in the Chelsea line-up alongside the likes of Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.
4. Vinicius Junior – €73.9m
The Real Madrid youngster is the epitome of what we have come to expect from Brazilian youngsters with his direct style of play. While the attacker has a lot to learn in the way of decision making with the ball at his feet, his talent is undeniable. Vinicius made the jump from the Castilla at Real Madrid to the first team, taking to La Liga like a duck to water.
The 19-year-old has a way to go if he is to fill the considerable gap of the left side of the Madrid attack, left there by his predecessor. However, optimism over the Brazilian is high at the Spanish capital.
3. Rodrygo Goes – €88.9m
The next entrant on the list is Vinicius’ teammate and compatriot Rodrygo Goes. The youngster was brought in for a massive €45m by Zinedine Zidane in the summer of 2019 from Santos and his value has just continued to grow. Much like Vinicius, Rodrygo exudes the flair that is typical of a Brazilian attacker but has yet to reach his full potential.
The youngster endeared himself to the Madrid faithful with a Champions League hat-trick in November against Galatasary and has seen his value grow ever since.
2. Erling Haaland – €101m
With 40 goals and five assists in March, Erling Haaland’s record speaks for itself. The Norwegian striker almost beggars belief with his instinct in front of goal. More often than not, his opponents are left dumbfounded as the 19-year-old eases goal after goal past them. The youngster has scored a massive nine hattricks so far this season, including one coming off the bench in his debut for Borussia Dortmund, for whom he signed in the January transfer window.
Haaland burst onto the scene when he scored nine goals in a single game for Norway against Honduras in the U-20 World Cup. The Norwegian now looks like he is ready to take the footballing world by storm.
1. Jadon Sancho – €198m
The former Manchester City academy player proved himself to be more than a flash in the pan after improving on his 2018-2019 season performances. The England international is seen as the player to usher his country into a new era of footballing dominance with his performances on the pitch. Sancho is heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
In the Premier League, If the youngster can produce the kind of numbers that he has been producing in the Bundesliga, we could be looking at a true footballing world-beater.
The players ranked 11 to 20 are listed below.
- Ozan Kabak – €43.5m
- Ansu Fati – €42.7m
- Takefusa Kubo – €41.2m
- Max Aarons – €40.4m
- Dejan Kulusevski – €39.6m
- Ryan Sessegnon – €38.9m
- Sandro Tonali – €36.9m
- Hamed Traoré – €27.6m
- Benoît Badiashile – €27.2m
- William Saliba – €26.7m