Trent Alexander-Arnold worth €130m, Jadon Sancho €160m in most expensive Under-23 XI

Chris Bailey 15/06/2019
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Clubs have to pay a premium for top talent – but exactly how much they should is always the question. One football research group believes they’ve figured it out.

The CIES Football Observatory, a study centre based in Switzerland, has developed an algorithm that estimates the highest transfer values across Europe’s top five leagues in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

And using that data, we’ve whipped together an XI of the most expensive Under-23s across each division.

Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt and Benfica attacker Joao Felix don’t feature given their clubs reside in the Netherlands and Portugal, while Frenkie De Jong has only recently moved to Barcelona.

Regardless – this is an incredibly strong team of talent that boast equally hefty transfer prices. France superstar Kylian Mbappe, unsurprisingly, leads the way at a quarter of a billion euros, while five players breach the 100m mark alone.

It speaks for Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s rise in Liverpool colours that the 20-year-old is apparently worth a whopping 130m, and a Premier League premium surely applies to Spurs midfielder Dele Alli, who hits triple figures despite a so-so personal season with Spurs.

After a scintillating season in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, Jadon Sancho could earn his club 160m if they decided to cash in.

Whether any of these clubs would part with these players for those particular prices is another question entirely – but at the very least, the below goes to show just how lucrative it can be to invest in young talent.

1506 Most expensive u23s XI (1)

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Transfer predictor: Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso to Tottenham gets an 8

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Giovani Lo Celso

Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Arsenal, Tottenham and Sheffield United.

Giovani Lo Celso

Giovani Lo Celso

Real Betis -> £88.9 million-> Tottenham

Several publications including Daily Mirror have claimed that Tottenham will stop at nothing until they sign Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso.

With their original £53 million bid rejected, Spurs are expected to follow up by increasing their bid by £10 million, which should be able to convince the Seville club to sell. In the worst case scenario, Spurs will have to pay the buy-out clause for the Argentine’s contract with Betis which stands at £88.9 million.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Lo Celso would be a great addition to Spurs’ midfield, which is in desperate need of a rebuild. Should the Champions League runners-up manage to rope in both Tanguy Ndombele and Lo Celso, it would be a great piece of business, keeping in mind that the core of midfield would be sorted for the next six-seven years.

The 23-year-old is also in need of an upgrade, having outgrown Betis. Playing under a coach like Mauricio Pochettino could be great for the former Paris Saint-Germain man’s development.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

With reports suggesting that Spurs wouldn’t mind paying the player’s release clause, the transfer fee clearly can’t do much to derail this operation.

However, a series of eye-catching performances in the Copa America could draw suitors and should a club with a better offer than Spurs approach Lo Celso, there could be a serious tussle.

Transfer rating: 8/10

Franck Ribery

Ribery-Bayern-Munich

Bayern Munich -> free transfer -> Sheffield United

Kicker was the first publication to suggest that Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery could join newly promoted Premier League side Sheffield United.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

The Frenchman will be a free agent at the end of this month and hence the complication involving a transfer fee will be absent.

It does help Sheffield’s case that Ribery is not strongly linked to any other club at the moment.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

To even think that treble winner Ribery will sign for a club that was playing in the second division last season is bizarre.

It’s also unlikely that Sheffield could afford the player’s high salary demands despite having him aboard for free.

Transfer predictor: 3/10

Ivan Perisic

Ivan Perisic

Ivan Perisic

Inter -> undisclosed -> Arsenal

Arsenal have reignited interest in their winter transfer target Ivan Perisic according to various reports, including a number of Italian sources, most notably Calciomercato.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Perisic is determined to prove himself in the Premier League and with his untouchable status being rendered uncertain following Antonio Conte’s arrival at Inter, a move to Arsenal is very much on the cards.

It is believed that the Gunners will approach with a more concrete proposal after their loan deal was rejected in January. If the proposal appeals to both the club and the player, it’s likely that this transfer will materialise without much complications.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

The Italian club evaluate the winger at €30-€35 million, which could be a problem for the London club whose reported transfer budget is quite low.

Transfer rating: 6/10

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Real Madrid fans chant ‘we want Mbappe’ at Eden Hazard unveiling

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Real Madrid fans were filmed chanting “we want Mbappe” at Eden Hazard’s unveiling at the Bernabeu.

The footage, which has been viewed over a million times, saw a section of the crowd chanting “Queremos a Mbappe” during Thursday night’s presentation of the new 150 million euro (£130 million) signing from Chelsea.

Paris Saint-Germain and France star Kylian Mbappe has been consistently linked with a move to the Spanish giants as they attempt to rebuild their squad.

Real fan Alex, who filmed the clip, told the Press Association the chant had not been intended as a slight on Hazard.

“We were waiting for Hazard for almost one hour and a half and everyone sang different songs and this was one,” he said.

“We weren’t complaining. The opposite. We were excited for the new signings and we just asked for more. That’s how Real Madrid works.”

Hazard refused to be drawn on rumours about a move for Mbappe or Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

He said: “Pogba and Mbappe are among the best players out there and I want to play with the best, but I’m not the one who decides – we’ll see what’s going to happen in the future.”

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