The results spun off by the CIES Football Observatory should be taken with a grain of salt. Their methodology can at times be unclear, and the precise meaning of their results can by mystifying. Also, to our continuing amusement, they once said that Dejan Lovren was England's top centre half.
Around this time every year, though, they release one list of results that are always fun to dig into—transfer value. Based on club and international appearances, stats, contract status, age, and position, and comparing those baseline markers to past transfers, they come out with the supposed values of over 100 players.
And Liverpool currently have five players on the list, with three of their top four transfer targets heading into the summer also making the cut—no prizes for guessing it's Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, and Naby Keïta who make it, though it's Salah in fact who CIES think is the most valuable of them.
He wouldn't be Liverpool's most valuable player if he signs, though. That honour would still belong to Roberto Firmino, who CIES value as Liverpool's top player at €85.3M—and Europe's 20th most valuable overall. That it is he and not compatriot Philippe Coutinho will surprise many.
Coutinho follows at 38th, worth €70.8M, while Sadio Mané is 47th and worth €64.5M. Gini Wijnaldum also makes the list at 57th and €59.9M as does Nathaniel Clyne at 102nd and €42.1M. If the club somehow still managed to add their three top targets, it would make for one of Europe most valuable squads by CIES value.
Salah comes in just behind Coutinho at 40th position and worth €67.5M—suggesting Liverpool may well be getting a bargain, at least if his goals and assists numbers can be maintained when he returns to the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Naby Keïta is ranked 82nd and worth €47.5M while Virgil van Dijk is ranked 85th at €46.6M. Barcelona's Neymar is first overall, said to be worth over €200M, while Tottenham's young stars Dele Alli and Harry Kane come second and third respectively—demonstrating the value CIES put on youth.
Lionel Messi comes fourth, Antoine Griezmann fifth, and Luis Suarez sixth. For a full list of the results, head on over to CIES.