In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, teams are unwilling to take risks in the transfer market and we are now getting reacquainted with player valuations that are more realistic.
A lot can happen in football over a season or even half of it. There are also several factors that come into play when it comes to the market value of a player. These things could vary from injury problems to age to the length of a player's current contract.
The upcoming summer transfer window is expected to be quite an entertaining one. The likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Jadon Sancho are all tipped to leave their current clubs and we could see an incredible amount of money change hands in the summer.
Over the course of the season, we have seen the transfer market value of several players plummet. We have also seen the value of a few players rise greatly. Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the most valuable players in the world.
5 most valuable players in the world - April 2021
#5 Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) - £99 million
The world's most expensive player and Paris Saint-Germain's creative mastermind Neymar is one of the most entertaining players to watch on a football pitch. At 29, Neymar is now an experienced campaigner but has seen his market value fall this season as he has missed the majority of the season through injury.
Neymar's current contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires in 2022 and he is yet to sign a new deal with the club. As such, speculation is rife over his future and he has been linked with a return to his former club Barcelona despite the Brazilian claiming he has never been happier at Paris Saint-Germain.
In fact, Neymar's transfer market valuation has dropped by £16 million in a month but that figure is a little skewed because of the financial situation that the market has been forced into in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
#4 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) - £99 million
It has been quite a forgettable season for Liverpool. After losing three of their first-choice centre-backs to injury, the Merseysiders have stumbled and are now losing ground in the top four battle in the Premier League.
The famed frontline that has been at the forefront of their recent successes has not clicked this season, with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane having underwhelming campaigns. But that has not stopped their main man Mohamed Salah.
Salah has kept at it and has scored 29 goals for Liverpool across all competitions this season. He has been a rare bright spot in an otherwise colourless season for the Merseysiders and the Egyptian continues to be one of the most valuable players in the world.
#3 Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund - £99 million)
The only player on the list whose transfer market value has steadily risen over the course of the season, Erling Haaland is arguably the most sought-after player in the world right now. The brutish striker is just 20-years-old but is already world-class.
Erling Haaland is tipped to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer with several European giants interested in securing his services. However, the Norwegian might not be affordable for most clubs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic but there'll be a bidding war as the teams are aware of how much of a difference-maker Haaland can be.
Haaland has scored 39 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season in addition to racking up seven assists. He has his entire football career ahead of him and is surely going to be one of the biggest football stars in the future.
#2 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) - £108 million
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has stacked up some unreal numbers despite the club enduring a difficult season under Jose Mourinho, who has now been sacked. It all started on a promising note for Spurs as Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min fired on all cylinders in the opening weeks of the season.
However, Kane had a bit of an injury issue and Son's form faded as the season trudged on. But Kane is back in business yet again. The Englishman has scored 26 goals for Tottenham Hotspur in 41 appearances. He has also racked up 15 assists in that time.
Kane is one of the most well-rounded strikers in the world and his finishing ability is matched by his playmaking prowess. Still just 27-years-old, Kane could move to a bigger club as Tottenham Hotspur's trophy drought continues.
#1 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - £144 million
Well, no surprises here. Kylian Mbappe, who is seen as the direct successor to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, is currently the most valuable player in the world. His recent exploits include scoring a hat-trick against Barcelona and bagging a brace against defending UEFA Champions League champions Bayern Munich.
Mbappe has been unstoppable ever since he broke onto the big stage. The 22-year-old has scored a whopping 37 goals in 42 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain this season and continues to go from strength to strength.
Mbappe is tipped to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer with Real Madrid marked as his most likely destination. But it remains to be seen just how Los Blancos will manage to finance that deal because Mbappe is valued at £144 million and Paris Saint-Germain are certain to demand a sum in excess of that.
Note:Lionel Messi's (33-years-old) market value is £72 million, while Cristiano Ronaldo's (36-years-old) market value is £45 million.