The CIES Football Observatory have published their top 100 most valuable players in the world, and Premier League talent features prominently. Five Premier League stars , two La liga stars are among the 10 most valuable players in the world. Overall eleven Premier League stars are among the 20 most valuable players in the world.
The organisation have developed a statistical model to value footballers using metrics such as player performance, age, contract as well as data on employer clubs and potential recruiting ones.
Here are the top 20 most expensive players in the world (in millions) :
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20. ALVARO MORATA(€108 )
Chelsea signed Morata from Real Madrid for a reported club-record fee of £60 million. A well-rounded forward, Morata is capable of playing as a main striker or linking up play between the lines, and can even play out wide on the wing. During his first season at Juventus, he stood out for his pace, energy and work-rate on the pitch, while his technique, opportunism and positional sense saw him score several crucial goals .
Currently he has scored 12 goals in 28 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions. He will look to improve his performances as Chelsea fans expect him to deliver big.
19. Gonzalo Higuain (€113)
Gonzalo Higuain, along with Bonucci, is the most well-paid footballer in Italy. The Argentine also holds the honour of being the most expensive too in Serie A, following his switch from Napoli in 2016. Higuain transferred to rivals Juventus for a fee of €90 million paid in two installments, becoming one of the highest transfer that season.
Higuain possesses good technical skills, and an ability to link-up with teammates, hold up the ball, and lay it off to other players. His intelligent offensive movement off the ball and pace in the final third of the pitch make him an offensive threat during counter-attacks, and also allow him to lose his markers and get on the end of passes, or create space for his teammates with his attacking runs.
18. Eden Hazard (€119.6)
At Chelsea, Hazard matured into a world class player and received praise from pundits and manager alike. He is already a top player and his evolution has been fantastic. He is still very young and he can become the best player in the world.
Hazard is mostly known for his pace and dribbling ability. He primarily plays as either an attacking midfielder or a winger and has been credited as being “possibly the most outstanding talent in Europe right now”.
17. Gabriel Jesus (€122.6)
Jesus was named the player of the seaon as Palmeiras won their first league title in 22 years in 2016. His performances led him to join Manchester City in January 2017 for a transfer fee of €32 million.
A talented and versatile forward, Jesus is capable of playing in several attacking positions. Known for his pace, technical skills, dribbling ability, creativity, finishing, movement, and work ethic, he has scored 17 goals in 28 appearances for City.
Jesus represented Brazil in 2016 Summer Olympics and also made his senior debut in September 2016. The way he is performing and growing better, he is tipped to surpass Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
16. Philippe Coutinho (€123)
Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in this transfer window, his transfer fee is reported to be an initial £106 million, which could rise to £142 million with various clauses ,which is the highest paid by The Catalans till date and also the most expensive transfer after Neymar’s transfer .
Flourishing at Anfield; his combination of vision, passing, dribbling and long-range strikes earned him the nickname Little Magician from Liverpool fans and teammates. Considered to be an archetypal Brazilian number 10 playmaker, Coutinho has been used as an attacking mildfielder, second striker and on the flanks, where he excels at providing assists for teammates. He has been compared to Brazilian Legends like Ronaldo ,Ronaldinho,Zico for his dribbling, ability, pace,creativity and agility .
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15. Marcus Rashford (€126.8)
A Manchester United player from the age of seven, Rashford scored twice in both his first-team debut , in his first Premier League match in February 2016 . He also scored in his first Manchester Derby match, his first League Cup match and his first UEFA Champions League match.
Rashford also scored on his England debut in May 2016, becoming the youngest English player to score in his first senior international match. Rashford is mainly used as a winger due to his pace down the flanks and creativity and has never failed to showcase his talent by scoring goals and providing assists. At the age of 20, he has many glorius years to come.
14. Luis Suarez (€128.7)
Suarez had moved to Barcelona in 2014 for fee to be reported £64.98 million , making him one of the most expensive transfers in world football history. Since then ,he has been phenomenal for the Catalan giants, scoring 132 goals in 170 appearances for them. He won the treble in his first season with them and is on the way this season too.
He creates goal scoring chances with his powerful shot, and also has remarkable technical ability. Suárez has been praised for his work rate,and his quickness that allows him to attack from the outside. His dribbling ability is world class and he forms a lethal partnership with Lionel Messi.
13. Raheem Sterling (€138.2)
One of the most underrated player in the Premier League currently and also one of the best English players, Sterling has improved a lot under Pep Guardiola. Known for his pace, Sterling plays as a winger,attacking midfielder and also sometimes as a striker. He has been praised for his adaptability and ability to play wide, at the tip of a midfield diamond and centrally, offering flexibility .
He is the City’s top goalscorer this season and has contributed in the team’s undefeated campaign in the Premier League so far.
12. Mohamed Salah (€140.5)
The best signing of the Premier League season so far, Salah has been brilliant for Liverpool since signing from AS Roma in the summer. He signed a long-term contract with the Reds for an initial €42m fee that could rise to up to €50m. The fee was a club record then .
With good technique and an eye for goal, Salah is predominantly known for his speed, dribbling skills, first touch, and ball control, as well as his ability to use his pace on the ball in order to beat opponents, and create scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates. He primarily plays as a winger on the right flank, a position which allows him to cut into the centre onto his stronger left foot, and either shoot on goal.
His technical skills, pace, position and direct playing style have led him to be nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi”. Salah has scored 23 goals in 29 appearnces for Liverpool this season.
11. Leroy Sane (€140.6)
Leroy Sane is known for his pace, dribbling and his short passing skills. He is the fastest players in the Premier League. He has been excellent for Manchester City this season and has been terrorising defenders at will. Due to his excellent performances in October, scoring and assisting once in each of his three games, he has earned the Premier League Player of the Month award.
The German was also shortlisted for PFA Young Player of the Season 2016-17, owing to his last season’s performances. If he can continue playing like this, he can go on to become a world beater.
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10. Paul Pogba (€147.5)
Manchester United smashed the British Summer Transfer Record previously held by Gareth Bale to sign Pogba on a five-year contract in 2016. Though Pogba is a central midfield player, he is capable of playing on the left in a holding attacking midfielder role. He is a powerful,skillful and creative player who has a eye for goal and has also earned the name “POGBOOM” for his energetic perfomance in the field.
A large, quick, hard-working and physically strong player, he excels in the air, and is also known for his stamina, as well as his powerful and accurate striking ability from distance . Pogba is also deployed in a more advanced and creative midfield role which saw him gain more time on the ball due to his vision, and passing range.
9. Antoine Griezmann (€150.2)
Undoubtedly the biggest star in Diego Simeone’s fighting Atletico Madrid side, Antoine Griezmann may not be as impressive as he was last season, but his class cannot be doubted. Antoine Griezmann finished third in the shortlist of The Fifa Ballon d’Or 2016. Griezmannworks hard for his team and possesses great technique, vision and quality finishing.
Being a left-footed player and having an eye for goal he has the ability to drop deep and link-up play between forwards and midfielders. He can play as a striker,or an attacking midfielder or as winger or on the flanks. He can shoot with either foot from long distances. He has till now scored 91 goals in 182 appearances for the Los Cholconeros.
8. Romelu Lukaku (€164.8)
One of the profilic strikers Lukaku was ever present for The Toffees, but has till know failed to live up to his price tag after his transfer to The Red Devils. He has been heavily criticised for his ineffectiveness in big games.
A left-footed player, he is one of the ten most promising young players in Europe. Lukaku has also been known to use his physicality to get around defenders. He is also known for his pace and heading ability. He has scored 16 goals in 31 appearances for The Red Devils so far.
7. Kevin De Bruyne (€167.8)
One of the best signings for Manchester City in the recent years, De bruyne has turned out to be a key player for the club over the past few seasons. Signed from Wolfsburg for a reported club-record fee of £55 million on a six-year contract in 2015, De Bruyne has taken his game to a whole new level since joining the Citizens.
He is often described as one of the best modern day playmaker due to his technique, wide range of passing, and long-range shooting skills. He can play as a winger,attacking midfieder and also a shadow striker. He is arguably the best player in the Premier League right now.
6. Dele Alli (€171.3)
Who knew that a last minute signing of Spurs worth £5 million in winter transfer window of 2015 would turn out to be such a huge success. Dele Alli has been one of the best young players in the world.
Alli was voted the PFA young Player of The Season in 2016, and won again the next year. In January 2016 he was ranked 8th in the list of the 50 best U20 footballers and in October of the same year he was ranked as the best U21 talent in world football.
According to Mauricio Pochettino: “In the box, he looks like a striker, and outside the box, he plays like a midfielder.” Alli is “fast, fluid and has a great skill set” and has the ability “to get into the box without being marked” .
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5. Paulo Dybala (€174.6)
The young Argentine is one of the hottest prospects in world football. The Juventus star, Dybala is known for his dribbling skills, balance, and close control in limited spaces, as well as his ability to beat opponents and protect or hold up the ball for team-mates with his back to goal. He is also effective at scoring with his head due to his acceleration and ability to anticipate defenders.
He is capable of playing in any offensive position: he has been deployed as a striker, as a centre forward, as a supporting forward, as an attacking midfielder, as a playmaker, as a false 9 or even as an inverted winger on the right flank, where he is able to cut into the centre and curl shots on goal with his stronger left foot . With many big clubs lurking , Juventus will hope to hold onto their prized asset.,
4. Kylian Mbappe (€192.5)
Labelled as a one season wonder by some pundits last season, Mbappe has shut his critics once gain this season. He transferred to PSG this season on an initial loan deal, with an option of purchase for €180 million and has subsequently forming a prolific attacking trio with Neymar and Cavani.
Mbappé is very much a player who relishes the challenge when taking defenders on, and it allows him to make the winger position his own. Unafraid to use skills and equally agile, he can often be deceiving – although not as physically strong in comparison to his counterparts, the low centre of gravity he possesses is utilised to good effect alongside his rapid acceleration both on and off-the-ball.
3. Harry Kane (€194.7)
The best striker in the Premier League, Kane has been named Premier League Player of The Month six times and in the PFA Team of the Year in each of the last three seasons. He has scored over 100 goals for Tottenham, and has already won two Premier League Golden Boot awards.
Kane is best as a lone striker, with his “hold-up play and close control” making him apt in other positions as well. On 23 December, Kane equalled Alan Shearer’s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year, having scored a hat-trick in a 0–3 away win at Burnley. He surpassed Shearer’s record the following game with another hat-trick in the 5–2 home win against Southhampton, ending the year with 39 Premier League goals. He was also the leading goal scorer of the year 2017 surpassing Messi, Ronaldo,etc.
2. Lionel Messi (€202.2)
Arguably the best player in the world and also a candidate for the best ever ,Messi is ranked second. Messi has a record-tying five Ballon D or awards, four of which he won consecutively, and a record-tying four European Golden Shoe.
His short, strong legs allow him to excel in short bursts of acceleration while his quick feet enable him to retain control of the ball when dribbling at speed Messi is predominantly a left-footed player; with the outside of his left foot, he usually begins dribbling runs, while he uses the inside of his foot to finish and provide passes and assists.
Messi is known for his finishing, positioning, quick reactions, and ability to make attacking runs to beat the defensive line. He also functions in a playmaking role, courtesy of his vision and precise passing. He has been the back-bone of FC Barcelona for many seasons and they should erect a statue of him outside Camp Nou once he retires.
1. Neymar Jr (€213)
Upon getting a transfer to PSG for a reported fee of 222m, Neymar is currently the most expensive football player in the world. He has been terrific for PSG so far , forming a deadly trio with Cavani and Mbappe.
Neymar’s dribbling skills, tricks and playmaking ability are reminiscent of compatriot Ronaldinho. His creativity, vision, passing, dribbling, finishing, and technique, can be described as world class. He primarily plays as winger or occasionally as an attacking midfielder. due to his energetic pace and playmaking skills; this position allows him to shoot with his stronger foot, or creates chances
He is tipped as the man to end Messi-Ronaldo duopoly on the Ballon d’Or – a high expectations indeed.