The Premier League providing the world with some of the most talented players in the beautiful game is not unheard of. The world’s most glamorous football league is and was also once the home for great players who have emerged through with their world-class talent.
With the current transfer market experiencing an inflationary trend like never before, here we look at Premier League’s ten most valuable U23 players, in terms of their market value.
10. Dejan Kulusevski, 21 – Tottenham Hotspur
Having only just arrived from Juventus on loan, Swedish international Kulusevski is already making a mark in North London. The enigmatic winger has already been called ‘young Salah’ due to his effectiveness on the flanks. He emerged from the youth ranks of Atalanta but the Bianconeri were quick to snap and provide him a platform.
Transfermarkt value: €35m
09. Pedro Neto, 22 – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Portuguese winger Neto is another one of Wolves’ up and coming players from the Iberian Peninsula. Wolves came along and handed him a long-term contract after subpar spells at boyhood club Braga and Lazio. His debut season in the Premier League was the breakthrough campaign for him and has since established himself as a starter at the club.
Transfermarkt value: €35m
08. Gabriel Martinelli, 20 – Arsenal
Brazilian forward Martinelli is the well-deserved subject of praise from Arsenal and Brazil fans, for all the right reasons. The Gunners youngster is currently enjoying a great run of form due to more game time. He has 5 goals and 4 assists in 26 caps this season so far and does not look like slowing down anytime soon.
Transfermarkt value: €38m
07. Emile Smith Rowe, 21 – Arsenal
Emile Smith Rowe has come a long way from the Gunners’ youth teams to establish himself in the first team under Mikel Arteta. His direct style of play and impressive dribbling ability combined with his game intelligence and tactical understanding has all indications of a future big-game player. Former Manchester United legend David Beckham is his idol.
Transfermarkt value: €40m
06. Wesley Fofana, 21 – Leicester City
Marseille born Wesley Fofana jumped ship from St. Etienne to Leicester City in 2020 and has proved to be one of the Foxes’ best recent signings. He played a pivotal part in Leicester’s FA Cup win 2020/21, etching himself as a surefire starter in his debut Premier League season – making 38 appearances in total. However, injuries have now marred the 21-year-old’s progress.
Transfermarkt value: €40m
05. Reece James, 22 – Chelsea
Reece James was handed a new lease of life at Chelsea with the appointment of former great Frank Lampard in 2020/21 – his breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea youth product is fast-paced, enigmatic wingback with the attitude of a brawler. He already has the UEFA Champions League to his name, along with a host of other accolades.
Transfermarkt value: €55m
04. Bukayo Saka, 20 – Arsenal
Although Saka was undeservingly pinpointed for England’s EURO 2020 penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Italy, his potential and abilities are known to be one of a kind. As one of Arsenal’s most valuable players and the player of the season in 2020/21, he is an influential part of the North London giants. The 20-year-old already has 14 England caps to his name.
Transfermarkt value: €65m
03. Kai Havertz, 22 – Chelsea
Chelsea paid €80m in 2020 for the services of Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. It was a price tag that initially raised eyebrows, but the German U23 player was quick to shut out his critics and bad-mouthers – having scored the winning goals in the finals of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup.
Transfermarkt value: €70m
02. Jadon Sancho, 22 – Manchester United
The transfer saga between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United came to a full stop in the summer of 2021, when the Red Devils parted ways with €85m for signing the highly-rated youngster. Nonetheless, Sancho has failed to live up to expectations so far, undoubtedly feeling the pressure of the price tag. We might just witness him burst into his best next season.
Transfermarkt value: €80m
01. Phil Foden, 21 – Manchester City
Considered to be one of the best young players in the world, Phil Foden has absolutely mesmerized fans and supporters by shining under Pep Guardiola.
Having excelled at Manchester City’s youth academy, he is the youngest English player to start in a Champions League match, aged just 17 years and 177 days. His greatest strength on the pitch is his versatility.
Transfermarkt value: €90m
Of all the Premier League clubs, Arsenal has the most representatives with three players, followed by two from Chelsea. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United all have one representative each.
Liverpool’s absence is a shocker though, with their most valuable youngster – Curtis Jones – ranking just below Kulusevski in 11th place.
However, among the aforementioned clubs, the Reds are closing in on City to grab the title back to Anfield for the first time since 2018/19. But it is the Cityzens who are still favourites to win the title, according to the best sports betting sites affiliated with Asiabet, despite being just one point ahead of Liverpool with the final weeks approaching.
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With clubs steadily investing in talent identification, recruitment, performance analysis and scouting, one can expect a whole new set of players to emerge into the spotlight not far in the near future.