Youngsters in the spotlight – updated player valuations ahead of the winter transfer window


With the 2020 winter transfer period approaching, the KPMG Football Benchmark team have released their updated players’ market value estimates. Real Sociedad and Spain winger Mikel Oyarzabal sits at the top of the list of the 10 football players who have increased their market value the most since September, after gaining almost EUR 21 million in market value in the past three months. Five of the top 10 players by value increase are under 22 years of age, the youngest one being AC Milan’s Portuguese forward Rafael Leão (21), while the oldest is Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk at 28.

Updated market value estimates from KPMG's Football Benchmark team include over 5,000 players from 12 leagues based on the latest sporting statistics provided by Opta. The estimates cover footballers in the first divisions of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, as well as the EFL Championship. 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.

Among the top 10 players with the largest increase in their market value, the English Premier League is represented by the most players (4), followed by the Spanish LaLiga (3), the French Ligue 1 (2), and the Italian Serie A (1).

The list is led by 22-year-old Real Sociedad forward Mikel Oyarzabal, who, according to media reports, is a target for Manchester City. The exceptional form of the Basque side (currently holding the 4th spot in La Liga) also helped 22-year-old Martin Ødegaard (on loan from Real Madrid) take the 3rd position in this ranking. The average age of these top 10 players by value increase is 23 years. Five of them are below 22, and only the EPL trio of Sterling, Van Dijk and Oxlade-Chamberlain are older than 24.

Seven of these players are in an attacking role, with the exception of centre backs Van Dijk and Sevilla’s Jules Koundé, and Leicester City’s defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

The chart below shows the top 10 increases in market value (in absolute terms) since 1 September 2019.

Recent successes of clubs (e.g. Chelsea or Ajax) are great examples of being able to compete at the top level while fielding very young talents. Therefore, we have also collected the most valuable 10 players born in this century. Borussia Dortmund’s English winger Jadon Sancho is not only leading this group, but he is also now the 11th most valuable player.

The list of the top 10 players by absolute market value has slightly changed since September. While the top four remained the same, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling jumped from 7th to 5th place, leapfrogging Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Fellow Liverpool striker Sadio Mané is a newcomer in the top 10, taking the 8th position from Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, who slipped to the then 10th place, with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba dropping out and landing in the 12th spot. The average value of the top 10 is over EUR 156m.

The chart below shows the composition of the overall top 10.


There are another five players with a value over EUR 100 million: Jadon Sancho (EUR 116m), Paul Pogba (EUR 115m), Virgil van Dijk (EUR 114m), Frenkie de Jong (EUR 106m) and Marcus Rashford (EUR 100m).

Considering these 15 players, eight of them play in the EPL, four in LaLiga, two in Ligue 1 and one in the German Bundesliga. By nationality, four of them are English, three are French, two are from Belgium and the Netherlands, respectively, and there is one player each from Brazil, Argentina, Egypt and Senegal. Interestingly, there is no Spanish, German or Italian footballer among them – actually the player with the highest market value from Germany is Leroy Sané, who is 24th in this ranking with a value of EUR 90m, Spain’s top player is Saúl Ñíguez (33rd with a value of EUR 84m), while the most valuable Italian player is Jorginho (62nd at EUR 62m).

You can find more information on these players’ market value on the KPMG Football Benchmark website – our Player Valuation Tool includes data on more than 5,000 players from 12 different leagues. Launched in September 2018, and based on KPMG proprietary algorithms, this analytics platform enables industry stakeholders to take informed decisions regarding player valuation.