Mbabbe World’s Most Valuable U21 But English Players Raise The Bar
Paris Saint-Germain and France forward, Kylian Mbappé is the most valuable under 21 player in world football according to the Soccerex 20 U21 Report released today.
The French superstar tops the rankings for a second successive year with a valuation of £234.8m (€261.6m) according to the 5th edition of the Soccerex report, compiled in partnership with Prime Time Sport.
Mbappé becomes the first player to break the £200m barrier in the annual report, which uses Prime Time Sport’s Football Value Index to rank footballers born on or after 1st January 1998.
The report takes into account the player’s age, position, current club, contract length, market value perception, international caps, minutes played, goals, injuries and technical quality from a variety of sources to arrive at a final valuation.
Mbappé’s valuation is more than twice that of second placed player, Borussia Dortmund & England winger Jadon Sancho who is valued at £108m (€120.3m) and more than three times Ajax and Holland defender Matthijs de Ligt, who is ranked third with a valuation of £66.9m (€74.5m).
The full Soccerex 20 U21 Report 2019 can be viewed via the link below:
England & the Premier League dominate – no Spanish players
Jadon Sancho is the most valuable of six English players in the list making England the dominant nation in the rankings. Sancho’s valuation is the result of his breakthrough season at Dortmund where, as a regular starter, he was one of the most exciting and prolific chance-creators in European football at just 19 years of age.
He is the first of an exciting crop of talent that helped England win the FIFA U17 and U20 World Cups to make the breakthrough and he ended the season playing for England in the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals.
The success of Sancho has led to other Bundesliga clubs targeting young English talent and other English players eyeing similar moves abroad – most notably Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Sancho’s U17 team mate and fellow Londoner Callum Hudson Odoi, who only made a handful of league appearances for Chelsea during the 2018/19 season and as a result is only 20th in the list with a valuation of £28.4m (€31.7m).
The other English players include Trent Alexander-Arnold 5th / (£66m (€73.6m), Phil Foden 14th / £36.6m (€40.8m), Declan Rice 15th / £35m (€39m), Ryan Sessegnon 18th / £30.3m (€33.8m)
France is the second most represented nation with four players, then Brazil with three, Italy with two and then one each for Portugal, Netherlands, USA, Germany and Nigeria.
For the first time there are no Spanish players but LaLiga can now boast five of the top 20, following the moves of Joao Felix, Rodrygo and Eder Militao to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid from SL Benfica, Santos and FC Porto respectively this summer.
The Premier League is the most represented league with six players – and this is excluding Christian Pulisic, whose ranking is based on his time at Borussia Dortmund. Of the other “Big Five” European leagues, the Bundesliga have four players in the report and Serie A and Ligue 1 both have two.
The youth market – stagnation or normalization?
The overall value of our top 20 has increased by 5.8% YoY and the value of the top 5 has increased 16.5%. These increases pale in comparison to last year when the overall value went up by 66% and the top 5 by 73%.
In one light this reduction in the rate of growth could be appear to indicate a stagnation in the value of U21 players – particular in the context of the overall YoY growth experienced in 2017 (62%) – but, in truth, the sharp rises in 2017 and 2018 were fuelled by vast revenues from the record-breaking Premier League broadcasting rights deal that began in 2017 and the paradigm shift caused by PSG triggering Neymar’s huge buyout clause in 2018.
The values in this year’s report represent market normalization where, without the impact of extreme external forces, values have increased at a more measured rate in line with overall market trends.
It is also worth noting that in 2018, there were a greater percentage of players featuring in the report for the final year – nine in 2018 compared with just five in 2019 – and so “peaking” in terms of their report valuation.
It will be interesting to see just how much the appreciation in value of the 15 eligible to feature again next year will mitigate the loss of Kylian Mbappé, who, under the methodology having been born in 1998, will not be eligible for the 2020 report.
Commenting on the Soccerex 20 Under 21 Report 2019, Soccerex Marketing Director David Wright said: “Mbappé’s dominant position at the top of our ranking reflects his status as the most exciting and sought after player in world football.
“He looks set to remain a PSG player for the immediate future but if, as seems likely, he moves to a Spanish or English heavyweight in the years to come, our report indicates that his fee will be a record breaking one.
“With 2019 being the last year Mbappé can feature, and the emergence of top English talent such Jadon Sancho, there is a good chance that next year we will see an English player heading the rankings for the first time since Dele Alli in 2017 and before that Raheem Sterling who topped our first ever report five years ago.”
To download the full report, go to www.soccerex.com/insight/20-under-21