The CIES Football Observatory, it seems, love themselves a Liverpool headliner. Just last month, they made waves in England by naming Dejan Lovren the Premier League’s top centre half and the 12th best in all of Europe. And this month, they’ve followed it up by naming Raheem Sterling the sixth most valuable player, setting his worth at £59.7M.
That ranks him behind just Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard, Crisitiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Sergio Aguero. It also isn’t especially revelatory as, whether one agrees with their results or not, they named Sterling Europe’s seventh most valuable footballer in their January report and 15th last summer. Their twice annual reports are timed to coincide with the summer and winter transfer windows.
Philippe Coutinho also finds himself high on the list this summer, coming in at 17th with a value of £40.8M. Jordan Henderson is 48th at £25.8 while Emre Can is moving up quickly, valued at £24.8M and coming in 53rd. Despite his injury struggles, Daniel Sturridge still manages to crack the top 100, being rated as Europe’s 92nd most valuable player at £18.4M.
Some will quibble over valuing Sterling at nearly £60M, but the CIES gives a lot of weight to player age, and Sterling may not be the finished product just yet but at only 20 years old he is clearly expected to give some club—whether that’s Liverpool or not is obviously an open question right now—a decade or more of top quality football.
That focus on youth can be seen elsewhere on the list, with Paul Pogba finishing one place below Sterling, Real Madrid’s Isco coming in 14th, and Tottenham breakout star Harry Kane 15th. Luis Suarez, who was ranked third last summer, has fallen to 11th this summer. Despite being valued at £32.5M by Aston Villa—good enough to put him in the 20-25 range—Liverpool striker target Christian Benteke does not make the list.
Also worth noting is the CIES’ total squad value ratings, where Liverpool finish fifth not in England but in all of Europe based on squad value, behind only Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Arsenal. If one thinks the CIES’ valuations are fair, this is a result that makes Liverpool’s sixth-place league finish last season even more disappointing.