Player values: Haaland on top, Barcelona boast highest squad value growth since December


Almost two years have passed since the outbreak of the COVID health crisis, which also hit footballers’ market values hard – according to our updated player value estimates*, player values have still not regained their pre-pandemic levels. The spring of 2020 saw a significant drop in player values (19.6% decrease in the aggregate values of the top 500 players), and despite some correction in that summer, player values have been stagnant ever since.

Our updated player values confirm the stable dominance of the English Premier League (EPL), with the average market value of a player in England’s top tier (at EUR 21m) being almost twice as much as that of a player in the German Bundesliga or Spain’s LaLiga (both at EUR 11.5m). Out of all ”big five” leagues, LaLiga registered the highest growth (4%) in that regard, since our previous estimates in December 2021. Outside of the traditional ”big five”, Portugal’s Primeira Liga retained its top position, ahead of the Dutch Eredivisie and Russia’s first tier. Brazil’s top league shows a 20% growth in average player value (from EUR 1.9m to EUR 2.3m). However it is worth noting that a similar growth in absolute value in LaLiga (from EUR 11m to EUR 11.5m) resulted in a 4% increase, due to the higher base figure. That rise in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is primarily due to the remarkable value growth of some starlets, most notably Palmeiras’ 20-year-old midfielder Danilo, who almost doubled his value in three months. As a result, Brazil jumped two positions in this ranking.

Looking at the top 10 clubs by squad value, we find the same clubs as three months ago, with Manchester City and Chelsea retaining their top spot. However, the rest of the ranking reveals some notable changes. Manchester United dropped five positions (from 3rd to 8th) with a squad value decreasing from EUR 1,011m to EUR 824.8m since December, mainly as some high-value players left on loan. In contrast, Barcelona jumped from 10th place to 6th, also leapfrogging Real Madrid, among others. The Catalans gained EUR 146m in squad value, with January signings Adama Traoré, Ferrán Torres, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and with their youngsters such as Gavi (EUR 50.1m), Nico González (EUR 35.7m) and Ez Abde (EUR 16.2m) added to our database for the first time. It is also worth noting, that Manchester City are now the only club to have a squad exceeding the EUR 1b threshold in value, whereas in last December, that elite also included Chelsea and Manchester United.

Considering the clubs with the largest squad value growth since December, we find Barcelona with the highest growth, as analyzed above. Unsurprisingly, they are followed by Newcastle United, the team that spent the most during the latest transfer window. By adding players such as Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimarães or Matt Target, the club’s squad value has increased by EUR 68m. Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg are in 4th place, mainly because of their young talents, such as Karim Adeyemi, Nicolas Seiwald or Mohamed Camara growing fast in value. Similarly, in the squad of Libertadores Cup winner Palmeiras, the market value growth of 19-year-old Renan, 20-year-old Danilo and 26-year-old Rony makes the difference.

The ranking of the top 10 players by market value includes eight players at Premier League clubs, with the only exceptions being Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, who has retained his top position and Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who jumped six positions since December (from 11th to 5th place). The current ranking sees Manchester City defender Rúben Dias joins the top 10 for the first time. Value changes in the past three months resulted in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Rúben Dias jumping 3 positions, and both Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho rising two spots, whereas Romelu Lukaku dropped from 4th to 9th in the ranking with a loss of EUR 11m in value since December, the highest decrease in the top ten. In contrast, Phil Foden keeps growing his worth: after gaining EUR 67m in value in one year (since December 2020 to December 2021), now he could add further EUR 7.7m in the past three months.

Vinícius Junior leads the ranking of players who registered the largest growth in market value (+35.7m) since our latest update in December 2021. Real Madrid’s 21-year-old Brazilian records 16 goals and 10 assists in all tournaments this season, a performance also reflected in his market value that surpassed EUR 100m for the first time, also making him the 12th most valuable footballer. Vinícius is followed by Colombian Luis Díaz, whose market value growth (+ EUR 24.1m) is mainly due to his recent transfer to Liverpool. West Ham are represented by two players in this ranking with Declan Rice in 3rd place (+ EUR 22.7m) and Jarrod Bowen at 10th (+ EUR 14.8m). The market value of winter transfer window’s number one signing, Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic’s is currently estimated at EUR 74.8m, after a growth of 19.8m. Stade Reims forward Hugo Ekitike has lately been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund: the 19-year-old Frenchman has registered 9 goals and 3 assists this season, helping his market value increasing by EUR 18m since December.

* Market value estimates from our Player Valuation Tool 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.