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5 most valuable U-21 players in the world

Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga
Vishal Subramanian
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The 2020-21 European football season has seen several youngsters enhance their reputations with a string of magnificent displays. In recent seasons, teams have begun taking their chances with young players as opposed to paying record-breaking sums for players, as the transfer market continues to spiral out of control.

Chelsea's squad from the 2019-20 season is a classic example, as Frank Lampard handed debuts to a handful of players from the academy. While Lampard eventually lost his job earlier this season, he did well to kickstart the careers of Mason Mount and Reece James among others, with the youngsters currently flourishing at Stamford Bridge.

Similarly, many U-21 players have played key roles for their clubs in the past two seasons and their values have shot up enormously due to their performances. On that note, here are five such players ranked in the increasing order of their market values.

Note: All figures were gathered from transfermarkt.com


#5 Alphonso Davies | Bayern Munich, €75 million

FC Bayern Munich v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One
FC Bayern Munich v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg One

Alphonso Davies has enjoyed an astonishing rise to stardom in the past 24 months. Signed as a relatively unknown teenager from Vancouver Whitecaps, Davies spent his first few months with the Bavarian giants away from the spotlight, as he was made to wait for his opportunity.

Known for his blistering pace and dribbling ability, the young winger was given his debut by Niko Kovac. However, due to an injury crisis, he was made to play as a left-back in a move that went on to change his fortunes.

After the arrival of Hansi Flick, the Canadian became one of the best players in the world in his position and played a pivotal role in Bayern Munich's treble-winning season. He is currently valued at €75 million, making him the fifth most valuable U-21 player in the world.


#4 Joao Felix | Atletico Madrid, €80 million

Atletico de Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander
Atletico de Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga Santander

Portuguese attacker Joao Felix is one of the most technically gifted youngsters on the planet. The former Benfica man is a key player for club and country and is one of the most expensive players in football history, having joined Atletico Madrid for a fee believed to be in the region of €130 million in 2019.

He has shown flashes of brilliance at the Wanda Metropolitano, but it could be argued that Diego Simeone's system does not bring the best out of an attacking player like him.

Nevertheless, Felix is currently valued at €80 million and is set to have a bright future in the game.


Also Read: 5 players who have completed most dribbles in the Premier League this season

#3 Ansu Fati | Barcelona, €80 million

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander

Ansu Fati has spent a sizable chunk of the 2020-21 season on the sidelines due to a long-term injury, but he is undoubtedly one of the hottest talents in the game currently. Having made his debut in the 2019-20 season under Ernesto Valverde, Fati broke a series of long-standing records and was hailed as the heir to Lionel Messi's throne at the Camp Nou.

At the age of 18, he is also comfortably the youngest player on the list and is valued at €80 million. Fati has already been capped by Spain and even scored on his debut, making him La Roja's youngest goalscorer in history.

La Masia has produced some incredible footballers and Fati is one of the most talented players to graduate from the famed academy in recent years.


#2 Jadon Sancho | Borussia Dortmund, €100 million

Borussia Dortmund v DSC Arminia Bielefeld - Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund v DSC Arminia Bielefeld - Bundesliga

Jadon Sancho's decision to leave Manchester City in favor of a move to Borussia Dortmund has proved to be a masterstroke. The Englishman has flourished in the Bundesliga with regular game-time under his belt and is currently one of the most sought-after attackers in the world.

Manchester United were heavily linked with a move for Sancho, but the Red Devils balked at his asking price, which was believed to be in excess of £100 million last summer. However, the England international could well be on the move this summer, with Liverpool also set to be in the race to secure his signature.

As per transfermarkt, Sancho is valued at €100 million currently, making him the second most valuable U-21 player on the planet. No prizes for guessing who is first on the list!


#1 Erling Haaland | Borussia Dortmund, €110 million

VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga

Norwegian goal machine Erling Haaland is football's most wanted man and could well be set for a massive transfer this summer. The 20-year-old is represented by notorious agent Mino Raiola, so a bidding war could be on the cards for him.

In terms of his goalscoring exploits, not much needs to be said about Haaland, who has continued to bang in the goals since his move to Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in 2019. He is currently valued at €110 million by transfermarkt, but interested clubs will have to meet Borussia Dortmund's asking price this summer, which is believed to be a lot higher than the aforementioned fee.

Haaland has been reliably linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea and it remains to be seen where he lands up.


Also Read: 5 players who have been linked with summer moves to Arsenal

Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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