Stock of British footballers rises for winter transfer window

04 January 2019 3 min. read
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As the football season passes its halfway point, the yearly frenzy that is the January transfer window has cracked open. As teams scramble to bolster their jaded squads amid a hectic festive fixture schedule, young British players in particular have seen their stock soar, with Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho seeing his price-tag grow fastest.

What a difference a year has made for footballing wunderkind Jadon Sancho. In 2017, the then Manchester City youth player decided to leave the future Premier League champions, in the search of regular football. After a successful 18 month spell at Bundesliga title contenders Borussia Dortmund, Sancho’s German adventure has obviously paid major dividends for him, his club and the England team who his growing presence has so quickly complemented.

At the same time, his move has also had significant repercussions on his perceived market value. For clubs who might have been considering a move for the talented youngster, Sancho’s price-tag has more than doubled since the start of the season, and he is now valued at €46.1 million, according to KPMG’s Football Benchmark.

Analysing more than 4,700 players covering the first divisions from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, the Big Four firm’s research found that Sancho was not the only British player to have seen his value increase exponentially over the last four months. Indeed, of the 10 fastest increasing valuations of footballers in Europe’s football leagues, six are from the UK.

Top 10 increase in Market Value

Following Sancho, Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling saw his value buoyed by €24.1 million through this present campaign. Meanwhile, Liverpool defensive duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Scotland international Andrew Robertson now draw a combined €34 million in additional value. Having finally recovered from his long-term injury woes, Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw saw his market value increase by €15.9 million due to his demonstrably improved fitness and a string of impressive performances. Finally, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, one of the Premier League’s surprise top scorers, saw his value spike by €15.5 million, thanks in part to his England debut, in which he scored against the USA.

Elsewhere, another Premier League player, Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves, saw his valuation increase by €18.3 million, thanks to the solid form of newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers. Geman teenager Kai Havertz of Bayer 04 Leverkusen is now worth an extra €17.7 million if clubs are to prize him away from the club where he became the youngest player in the history of the Bundesliga to reach 50 appearances. Meanwhile, Dutch starlet Frenkie De Jong – who is wanted by Barcelona, Manchester City and PSG – has seen his central role in the Champions League progression of Ajax’s youthful squad heighten his value to €42.5 million. 

France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe capped another impressive year on the pitch by adding another €25 million to his hefty valuation. The 20 year old has regularly outshone his pricey strike partner Neymar for Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain, and is linked with a move to Juventus, but if the Italian giants are to add the pacey attacker to Mbappe to their ranks before the end of January, KPMG suggests they will have to meet a €215 million valuation – €100 million more than the cost of summer arrival Cristiano Ronaldo. What is clear from KPMG’s research though, is that if teams want to tap the best talent for their future ambitions, youth and talent now command a premium which will make the eyes of even football’s most moneyed elites water.