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.
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