Player values have been stagnant over the past year, and most players have still not regained their “pre-pandemic” market value, according to KPMG Football Benchmark’s updated player market value estimates. Nevertheless, since the last valuation in July 2021, when aggregate market values for both the top 100 and top 500 players by market value slightly increased, a continued-but-minor growth can also be observed now.
Player values by league
The English Premier League remains some way ahead of the other domestic leagues in terms of aggregate player values. The average market value of a player in England’s top tier currently stands at EUR 20.8m – almost twice as much as the average value of a player in the German Bundesliga or Spain’s LaLiga (both at EUR 11.2m). Portugal’s Primeira Liga is the most valuable outside of the traditional ‘Big Five’, leapfrogging the Dutch Eredivisie. Russia’s top tier, analyzed for the first time in our ranking, came in at 8th, ahead of England’s second-tier Championship.
Top 10 clubs by squad value
The financial strength of the biggest English football clubs is apparent: the top three clubs by highest squad value all come from England’s first division, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all exceeding the EUR 1b threshold. They are followed by Paris Saint-Germain’s squad, which became the 4th most valuable team, primarily due to some marquee signings over the summer, including the likes of Donnarumma or Messi.
Regarding the three full domestic championships added to our database via the latest update, Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg have the highest squad value at EUR 159m. Austria’s top side is RB Salzburg with an overall team value at EUR 160m, while Al-Hilal SFC are the most valuable Saudi team at EUR 70m.
Among all the 939 players under consideration in those three leagues, the Russian top league boasts the most valuable players. There are 21 players in the Russian Premier Liga with a value over EUR 10m, while both the Austrian Bundesliga and the Saudi top tier have only four such players each. RB Salzburg’s German forward Karim Adeyemi, who made his debut in the German senior national team in September, is the most valuable at EUR 29m, followed by two Zenit St. Petersburg players, Colombian midfielder Wilmar Barrios (EUR 25m) and Brazilian forward Malcolm (EUR 21m).
Our expanded database now covers an additional 70 major clubs from further 26 football leagues, including Ukraine’ Shakhtar Donyeck or Dynamo Kyiv, Scotland’s Celtic and Rangers, Denmark’s Midtjylland and Bröndby, Greek sides Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb, Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda, Bate Borisov from Belarus, as well as historic teams from South America such as Colo-Colo, CA Peñarol, Club Olimpia, Atlético Nacional and many more.
Top 10 players by absolute market value
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has become the most valuable football player for the first time in our analysis with a market value of EUR 144m, an 8% increase since July 2021. His top position is also due to a decrease in Kylian Mbappé’s market value, as the latter has entered the final year of his current contract at PSG. Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku improved by the most positions in the last three months, joining the overall top 10 for this first time after his transfer to Chelsea FC. In contrast, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling dropped six positions, now 16th in the ranking. Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho also joins the top 10 after a slight increase in his estimated market value.
Top 10 players under 20 by market value increase
Considering players under the age of 20 whose market value increased the most in the past three months, we find no less than six players from the German Bundesliga in the top 10. Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz leads this ranking with a growth of EUR 14.8m, closely followed by fellow German midfielder, Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala. Nevertheless, Barcelona’s Pedri remains the most valuable under-20 player at EUR 81m, followed by Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, Wirtz, Barcelona’s Ansu Fati and Real Madrid’s new midfielder, Eduardo Camavinga.
Top 10 players by market value with contracts running out in summer 2022
The list of players who may become free agents next summer includes some familiar names. While their current clubs will likely try to tie them down with a contract extension, lucrative offers may lure them to new challenges. However, it is also true that due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, some clubs may hesitate to award contracts to their top earners in order to reduce staff costs.
The following chart shows the 10 players with the highest current market value whose contracts are set to expire in June 2022.
* Market value estimates from KPMG's Football Benchmark include 8,300+ players from 300+ clubs covering the best leagues of the UEFA, CONMEBOL and AFC regions. Our estimates are based on the latest sporting statistics provided by Wyscout, and several other drivers – each of them incorporated with its own specific weight into our proprietary algorithm. The estimates cover footballers in the first divisions of Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey, as well as the EFL Championship, plus players in 70 major clubs from further 26 football leagues in Europe and South America. It is important to note that the market value estimates provided are only comparable to fixed transfer fees and do not take into account performance-based bonuses that could be part of a potential player transfer fee.