- A prominent think tank in Switzerland has released a power ranking of the most valuable youngsters in world soccer.
- To produce the list, the CIES Football Observatory monitored soccer transactions for almost a decade, spoke to market actors, and studied other factors to determine a player’s worth if he was bought today.
- The most valuable teenager in world soccer right now is worth more than $150 million.
- Read all of Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-19 soccer season here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Some of the most valuable assets in all of sport play on a soccer pitch, and even the next generation of superstars are commanding extraordinary valuations.
Identifying a player’s transfer value is not easy, but a prominent research group in Switzerland – the CIES Football Observatory – has done just that by publishing a ranking of the most valuable under-20 soccer players in Europe’s best leagues according to its own algorithm.
The Observatory only considers athletes competing in England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga, and France’s Ligue 1, but says it has been able to calculate a player’s value by monitoring soccer transactions since 2010, speaking to market actors (club executives operating in elite soccer), and studying factors like playing activity, the club the athlete plays for, the athlete’s age, playing position, and economic level of the releasing club.
While the Observatory’s list includes a number of players aged 20, Business Insider has omitted these to only look at world soccer’s most valuable teenagers – and the most expensive would cost more than $150 million if he was bought today.
Here are the 15 most expensive youngsters in soccer, ranked in ascending order by transfer value:
=T15: Moise Kean, an exciting superstar for the future in Italy, is already worth $22.75 million.
Club: Juventus FC.
Style: Moise Kean is yet to become a first-team player at Juventus, but with six goals in 11 Serie A appearances (or one goal for every 73 minutes he has played), we get the impression it will not be long before the striker becomes a regular.
=T15: Callum Hudson-Odoi, worth $22.75 million, is one of the brightest young talents in England.
Club: Chelsea FC.
Style: Callum Hudson-Odoi has an eye for a pass, finesse on the ball, and is capable of a goal or two. He will likely become ever-present for club and country for years to come.
13: Turkish defender Ozan Kabak, who has an eye for a tackle, has a $23.3 million valuation.
Style: Ozan Kabak is as strong in the air as he is on the ground and is capable of developing into a wall-like presence in Stuttgart’s defense.
12: Phil Foden is becoming a first-team mainstay and is currently worth $24.5 million.
Club: Manchester City.
Style: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is increasing Phil Foden’s game time month on month, and the Englishman could well enjoy a breakthrough season next year in the heart of the team’s midfield.
11: Boubacar Kamara has a $29.75 million valuation and is a versatile defender by trade.
Club: Olympique Marseille.
Style: Boubacar Kamara is a staple part of Marseille’s defense and has made one defensive contribution (tackle, clearance, interception, or block) for every 10.5 minutes he has played so far this season, according to Whoscored.com data.
10: English winger Dwight McNeil, who has an eye for a pass, is valued at $32 million.
Club: Burnley FC.
Style: Dwight McNeil has been one of the most impressive players at Burnley this season, despite being just 19 years old. He has supplied five assists and scored three goals from 18 Premier League starts on the wing, and looks capable of improving his stats the older he gets.
9: Spanish right back Pedro Porro, a player with expert positioning on the pitch, is worth $32.9 million in today’s market.
Style: Pedro Porro is Girona’s first choice to play on the right hand side of the team’s defense and is renowned for his ball-playing strategy from deep.
8: Samuel Chukwueze, a trick-filled forward, is apparently worth $39.15 million.
Style: With technical brilliance and an incredible left foot, Samuel Chukwueze is modeling his game on Bayern Munich veteran Arjen Robben. And with two assists, five goals, and 48 take-ons from 18 La Liga starts according to Whoscored.com data, it looks like it’s working out for him.
7: Up-and-coming defender Ibrahima Konate commands a $44.75 million valuation.
Club: RB Leipzig.
Style: In a team filled with young talent, Ibrahima Konate is one of many Leipzig wunderkinds who excel, but the defender is noted for the consistency of his work, his aerial ability, and his competence on the ground.
6: Versatile player Ryan Sessegnon is reportedly worth $48.65 million.
Style: Linked with a high-profile move to Tottenham Hotspur, Ryan Sessegnon has caught the eye because of his Gareth Bale-esque qualities on the left hand side of the pitch.
5: Effective defender Evan N’Dicka would attract $49.3 million in the transfer market.
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt.
Style: A no-nonsense defender reminsicent of the sort of center backs who used to thrive in the Premier League like Nemanja Vidic, not many attackers relish the prospect of going one-on-one with Evan N’Dicka. He lives for the chance to dispossess somone, even if it means giving away a foul.
4: Technically-adept forward Vinicius Junior is worth approximately $61.5 million.
Club: Real Madrid.
Style: When Vinicius Junior was unveiled by Real Madrid at a press conference last summer, he told the media he was the “similar to Neymar.” He is yet to fully break into the team but excites fans because of his ball skills, passing range, and potential.
3: Goal-scoring midfielder Kai Havertz would command a $72 million fee in the transfer market.
Club: Bayer Leverkusen.
Style: Kai Havertz is a regular in the Bayer Leverkusen team even though he is not yet 20. His most common position is in the hole behind the striker and he has contributed 15 goals and three assists from 31 Bundesliga starts this season.
2: Nicolo Zaniolo, a defensive midfielder, is worth $75.4 million.
Club: AS Roma.
Style: Nicolo Zaniolo sits between defense and offense and makes it his job to break up opposition attacks before they can turn into a chance, or shot, on goal.
1: English forward Jadon Sancho has an estimated value of $168.2 million.
Club: Borussia Dortmund.
Style: Jadon Sancho has developed into one of the most exciting players to watch in the whole of Germany, and is paving the way forward for English teenagers to leave their country and become success stories abroad. Sancho is a revelation, creating 14 and scoring 11 goals in 25 Bundesliga starts this season. It is no wonder he has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Real Madrid – Sancho is one to watch for a long while yet.