Want to buy Phil Foden? It’ll cost you £128m! Man City starlet is rated as one of the three most valuable young players on the planet – with Greenwood, Sancho and Torres also in the £100m-plus club

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  • Four of Europe’s top 10 most valuable U23 players play in the Premier League
  • Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Ferran Torres are all in
  • Foden is rated on par with rising superstars Erling Haaland and Vinicius Jr.
  • And so is English youngster Jude Bellingham, who plays for Borussia Dortmund
  • Football analysts CIES have compiled a list of 60 high-value youth footballers
  • Reece James, Mason Mount and Declan Rice also feature prominently in the list.

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Half of the top 10 most valuable youth footballers in the world are either English or playing in the Premier League.

new figures from CIES The Football Observatory outlines the success of the current dominance of the English game and the path to player development at top clubs.

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The analysis estimated January transfer prices for 60 players under the age of 23 in the world’s richest five major European leagues. The Premier League boasts the largest share of the list with 17 young stars in total.

Mason Greenwood also has a highly prized U23
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And Jadon Sancho is among the top 10 highest-paid young players on the continent

(Left-Right) Phil Foden is one of Europe’s most valuable youth players, Mason Greenwood is a highly prized U23 and Jadon Sancho breaks into the top 10 of Highest Valuable Youth.

And when it comes to the top 10, England’s top flight dominates with Manchester City’s Phil Foden (21) and Ferran Torres (21) and Manchester United’s Jadon Sancho, (21) and Mason Greenwood (20) , which includes another Englishman. Jude Bellingham (18), who plays for Borussia Dortmund.

Not surprisingly, the most valuable commodity in football is the goal, dominated by the top 10 most expensive young footballers.

Top of the pile are Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland (21), Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior (21) and Foden, whom CIES estimates will cost £128 million each in the January window, behind Greenwood, Sancho and Torres will be there.

Kylian Mbappe would normally be expected to top the entire list, but his dwindling contract at PSG means he is eligible for a free transfer next summer, thus reducing his current transfer price.

Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham (right) is ranked ninth on the list of most valuable youth footballers in Europe, according to the football observatory, CIES.

Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham (right) is ranked ninth on the list of most valuable youth footballers in Europe, according to the football observatory, CIES.

Bellingham's Dortmund teammate, Erling Haaland (centre) joint top the list

Bellingham’s Dortmund teammate, Erling Haaland (centre) joint top the list

Top ten most valuable U23 players in Europe
value playerthe nationality Agescontract terminated
£128MErling Haaland (forward)
Borussia Dortmund
and not2106/24
£128MVinicius Junior (forward)
real madrid
Bra2106/24
£128MPhil Foden (forward)
Manchester City
England2106/24
£119 millionMason Greenwood (forward)
Manchester United
England2006/25
£119 millionFlorian Wirtz (attacking midfield)
Bayer Leverkusen
German1806/26
£119 millionPedri (attacking midfield)
barcelona
Spain1906/26
£111MJadon Sancho (forward)
Manchester United
England2106/27
£102MFerran Torres (forward)
Manchester City
Spain2106/25
£102MJude Bellingham (midfield)
Borussia Dortmund
England1806/25
£102MAlphonso Davis (full back)
Bayern Munich
can do2106/25
Source: CIES

Bayer Leverkusen’s famed teenagers, Florian Wirtz (18) and Barcelona’s Pedri (19) are fifth and sixth respectively, including attacking midfield players.

Wirtz set the record for the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history at 17 years and 34 days when he scored a curler against Bayern Munich last season, and is now on the all-time list behind Borussia Dortmund’s Yusuf Maukoko. is in second place.

Box-to-box midfielder Bellingham is ranked ninth and the only defender to make the top 10 is Bayern Munich’s flying full-back, Alfonso Davies (21).

The dominance of English players and the Premier League in the Most Valuable Young Players list, particularly in the top 10, reflects the impact of the Elite Player Performance Scheme launched in 2012 by the top flight in conjunction with the EFL and FA.

The scheme focuses on players from Under-9 to Under-23 and includes improving standards in academies, providing high quality games and tournaments as well as ensuring good quality education for the youth.

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz was the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz was the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history

Manchester City's Spanosh youngster Ferran Torres also received £100m.  rated value over

Manchester City’s Spanosh youngster Ferran Torres also received £100m. rated value over

Benefiters include Chelsea’s Reece James (21), Mason Mount (22) and Trevoh Chaloba (22), all of whom make up a long list of valuable young players produced by CIES.

Liverpool’s Curtis Jones (20), West Ham’s Declan Rice (22) and Arsenal’s Emil Smith Rowe (21) are also prominent. The rankings also show the ability of Premier League clubs to woo talent, be it English players who have been brought back to their country of birth, such as Sancho, or young foreign stars, such as Torres.

The Premier League is widely considered to be the strongest competition in Europe, certainly in financial strength, and arguably also in competition.

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp believes the Premier League to be the toughest competition in Europe

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp believes the Premier League to be the toughest competition in Europe

Liverpool forward Mo Salah was the latest to insist on this approach. After the Reds’ 1-0 win at Wolves on Saturday, Salah discussed his future and desire to stay in England.

Salah said, ‘I prefer to be in the Premier League because it is the strongest league in the world.

And his manager, Jurgen Klopp, expressed a similar sentiment last month. Klopp said, ‘The Premier League is the toughest in world football. ‘This league is incredible.

‘When I was in Germany people used to talk about the best league in the world – some people thought it might be Germany. No, it’s not… it could be Spain; Perhaps at times it was Italy; But of course it’s the Premier League for a few years. There is no doubt about that.’

U23 Premier League players among top 60 most valuable players in Europe
valueplayerthe nationalityAgescontract terminated
£128MPhil Foden (forward)
Manchester City
England2106/24
£119 millionMason Greenwood (forward)
Manchester United
England2006/25
£111MJadon Sancho (forward)
Manchester United
England2106/27
£102MFerran Torres (forward)
Manchester City
Spain2106/25
£102MJude Bellingham (midfield)
Borussia Dortmund
England1806/25
£85MKai Havertz (Attack on Middle)
Chelsea
German2206/25
£85MBukayo Saka (Attack on the Middle)
armory
England2006/24
£85MReece James (full back)
Chelsea
England2206/25
£77MMason Mount (Attack on the Middle)
Chelsea
England2206/26
£77MEmil Smith Rowe (attacking middle)
armory
England2106/26
£60MCurtis Jones (defensive middle)
liverpool
England2006/25
£60MDeccan Rice (Defensive Middle)
West Ham
England2206/24
£34MIlan Meslier (goalkeeper)
Leeds United
From2106/26
£34MTrevoh Chaloba (center back)
Chelsea
England2206/26
£26MEmerson Royal (Full Back)
Tottenham Hotspur
Bra2306/26
£26MConor Gallagher
Crystal Palace (Chelsea loan)
England2206/25
£21MLuke Thomas (full back)
Leicester City
England2006/24
Source: CIES

The revenue earned by Premier League clubs in 2018-19 was £5.9bn compared to their nearest rivals in La Liga, bringing in £3.4bn.

The impact of player development pathways and the financial strength of English clubs is now being seen in European competition.

Not only have the English sides won the Champions League twice in the past three years, breaking the Spanish monopoly of the tournament, three of the top five in the UEFA rankings and four of the top 10 clubs are now from these shores.

Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are behind Bayern Munich while Manchester United are in ninth place.

Five years ago, the rankings looked very different. Only Chelsea made it to the top 10 in 2016-17 and were ranked 10th.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka highly rated among Europe's top 60 U23 players

And Chelsea's Reece James also ranks well on this list

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (left) is highly rated among Europe’s top 60 U23 players and Chelsea’s Reece James (right) is also well placed on the list.

European Club Rankings 2021-22 and 2016-17
UEFA Club Ranks 2021-22UEFA Club Ranks 2016-17
1. Bayern Munich1. Real Madrid
2. Manchester City2. Bayern Munich
3. Liverpool3. Barcelona
4. Chelsea4. Atletico Madrid
5. Barcelona5. Juventus
6. Real Madrid6. Paris Saint-Germain
7. Paris Saint-Germain7. Borussia Dortmund
8. Juventus8. Seville
9. Manchester United9. Benfica
10. Atletico Madrid10. Chelsea
Source: UEFA

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