Along with the start of another transfer window, we have a new list of Europe’s most valuable players according to the CIES Football Observatory to sift through. The Swiss research group has been churning out player valuation and development data since 2005, and their regular reports have come to be accepted as a reliable index of the market value of players in Europe’s top five leagues.
Last summer, they the CIES rated Luis Suarez the third most valuable player in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, or France, and the eventual £70M transfer fee that took him to Barcelona confirmed that ranking. At the time, Raheem Sterling was rated the 15th most valuable player, with an expected transfer cost of around €42M. They rated Daniel Sturridge as being worth around €40M on the open market should Liverpool sell the striker.
In their latest update, the big news for Liverpool is that Sterling has shot up their list of most valuable players, landing the attacker at number seven with an expected market value of €63M. At current exchange rates, that’s close to £50M, which doesn’t seem far off the kind of fee Liverpool would demand should Sterling, who has two and a half years left on his current deal, refuse to sign a new contract and Real Madrid come calling in the summer.
That puts him behind only Sergio Aguero (€65M), Paul Pogba (€73M), Diego Costa (€84M), Eden Hazard (€99M), Christiano Ronaldo (€133M), and Lionel Messi (€220M). Following his latest biting incident over the summer and a disappointing start to his Barcelona career, Suarez’ value has plummeted to €48M, far less than the Catalan club paid for him. Alexis Sanchez, the player they let go to make room for Suarez, is valued at €61M.
Other Liverpool players on the list for January are Philippe Coutinho (35th and valued at €34M), Jordan Henderson (61st at €27M), Mario Balotelli (65th at €26M), Daniel Sturridge (68th at €25M), and Adam Lallana (97th at €21M). Injury concerns have obviously driven down Sturridge’s value greatly over the past six months, though he’s still rated as being worth around £20M at current exchange rates, nearly twice what Liverpool paid for him.
Perhaps the most surprising inclusion on that list, then, is Balotelli, who is rated as being worth more than what Liverpool paid for him despite his disappointing start at Anfield and that he appears to have been frozen out by manager Brendan Rodgers. Still, Balotelli is only 24 years of age and remains hugely talented, and the CIES might not be wrong that there would be clubs willing to pay a quite healthy fee for one more gamble on him coming good.
As for Liverpool players not making the list, it’s hard to argue that any others particularly deserve to be there given the club’s difficult first half. Lazar Markovic could well end up on the next list if he has a strong enough second half, and Liverpool’s management team would have hoped Dejan Lovren would be there, but that neither was judged to be worth at least the €20M needed to make the list for the January window hardly seems unreasonable.
Further, if a seventh Liverpool player had made the list, it might not even have been one of Markovic or Lovren. Using the CIES’ player rankings, it might have been young right back Javi Manquillo. The Spaniard may not have made the list of most valuable players, but he was rated the best defensive fullback in the big five leagues over the first half of the 2014-15 campaign. Now if only somebody could figure out the specifics of his loan deal.
- Lille Insist They "Have Not Received Any Offer from Liverpool" for Divock Origi
- Shocked Skrtel Wants to Win the FA Cup for Gerrard
- Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Beat Inter Milan to Xherdan Shaqiri
- Report: Suso Agrees Pre-Contract with AC Milan
- Rodgers Targets FA Cup Silverware as Fitting Send Off for Gerrard