Wide players have always played a crucial part in attacking setups since time immemorial. Players who rely on their pace and trickery to stretch opposing defences and create space for their teammates are invaluable assets to their sides.
In the current generation of talented superstars, wide forwards are in massive demand after the emergence of many such terrifying goalscoring wingers. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, and Neymar stood apart from their contemporaries in this regard.
The Portuguese and Argentine, in particular, have redefined the expectations from wide players, having scored an eye-watering number of goals for seasons together from the wings.
Players such as Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, who dovetail on Liverpool's flanks to devastating effect and wreak havoc week in week out, are two other exemplary examples of this trend.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal is another example of a player being effective from the flanks. Although the Gabonese is a centre-forward by trade, he has produced a string of sublime performances from the left-wing for the Gunners, scoring a staggering 22 league goals last year. Manchester City's Raheem Sterling also breached the 20-goal barrier from the same position.
On that note, here, we take a look at the most valuable right-wingers in world football at the moment.
#10 Rodrygo Goes | Real Madrid | €45m
Contract until: 2025 Summer
Real Madrid wonderkid Rodrygo Goes kicks off the list in tenth place after an impressive season at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Brazilian is viewed as an asset for the present as well as the future in the Spanish capital and is undoubtedly one of the most talented young players not just in LaLiga Santander, but in Europe at the moment.
The 19-year-old scored a hat-trick against Galatasaray in Los Blancos' 6-0 win against them, during which Rodrygo became the youngest-ever player to score a perfect hat-trick (left-foot, right-foot, header) in the competition. He also became Real Madrid's second-youngest hat-trick scorer in Europe after club legend Raul. The Brazilian has what it takes to succeed at the Bernabeu alongside his compatriot and fellow wonderkid Vinicius Jr.
#9 Riyad Mahrez | Manchester City | €48m
Contract until: 2023 Summer
Manchester City's wing wizard Riyad Mahrez comes in as the next most valuable right-winger on this list after a superb individual season with the former champions. The Algerian international didn't have too much of a role to play in his debut season at the Etihad. However, in 2019/20, Mahrez was called upon to start 21 games and came off the bench a further 12 times, resulting in 20 goals and assists in the league.
The former Leicester City superstar is widely regarded as one of the most aesthetically pleasing attackers in the Premier League, and he combines his silky technique with commendable end product. The 29-year-old, particularly in the wake of Leroy Sane's departure, will undoubtedly have an important role to play in the upcoming season as City look to reclaim their English crown.
#8 Federico Chiesa | Fiorentina | €48m
Contract until: 2022 Summer
A reported target for several different European clubs in recent seasons, Fiorentina ace Federico Chiesa is regarded as one of the most talented young Italians to have broken through in the last few years. The 22-year-old has been an essential player for Viola, and has been a subject of interest for clubs such as Juventus, Manchester United, and others.
In his 31 starts for Fiorentina over the 2019/20 campaign, Chiesa racked up ten goals and six assists for Giuseppe Iachini's men. His impressive performances have earned him a call-up from Roberto Mancini's Italian side for the UEFA Nations League. Despite Viola's struggles over the last few seasons, Chiesa remains a shining ray of hope for the Italians who hope to improve on their tenth-placed finish in Serie A.