Premier League 2018-19: 10 Most Valuable Players
- Who do you think will be in the top three?
The transfer market has inflated considerably over the past few years, mainly due to clubs bidding over a certain player and ending the auction at a ridiculous fee which makes other clubs hike up the values of their star players to match. It's become a case of, "Well, if X is worth this much, then Y must be worth even more."
Where it will end is anyone's guess; will there be a time in the future where players are sold for £500m? You might think it sounds ridiculous now but cast your mind back to the summer of 2002, when Rio Ferdinand signed with Manchester United for £30m. It had broken the transfer record at the time, and nobody could quite believe that that amount of money was being spent on a footballer.
Then came Fernando Torres' switch to Chelsea for £50m in 2011; again, everybody was shocked. Though now, we see players like Phillipe Coutinho go to Barcelona for a whopping £105m and we don't tend to even raise an eyebrow. Substantial transfer fees are now part of the game, it seems.
With that in mind, some of the market values of the players on this list may surprise you, whilst some might sound reasonable. Let us know what you think in the comments.
#10 Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) - £76.50m
A product of Anderlecht's youth academy, Romelu Lukaku has made a huge impact on how football is played nowadays. His unreal strength on the ball makes him the ideal target man, but his pace has also made him a strong centre-forward in general. It is not often you find a player who has both strength and speed to his game.
Lukaku's first big move came in the summer of 2011 when he signed for Chelsea for around £13.5m. Only 18 years old at the time, he was sent out to West Bromwich Albion on loan, where he managed to score 17 Premier League goals. His talent now was undeniable, and yet Mourinho showed little interest in testing him out in the first team. As a result, Lukaku was sent back out on loan the following season to Everton.
Yet again, Lukaku delivered, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances for the Toffees. He was a blatant force to be reckoned with and once his loan spell was over, Everton put in an offer for him. Initially, the fee was supposed to be around £25m, but following a brief back-and-forth with Chelsea, £30m was agreed upon and Lukaku made the switch.
Over the next three seasons with Everton, Lukaku would score a total of 53 goals in 110 appearances, showcasing his ability for all to see. He was also developing into a well-rounded player rapidly, which caught the eye of Manchester United.
Ironically, it would be Jose Mourinho, the same man who showed no interest in him at Chelsea, who would sanction the signing in the summer of 2017. In the end, a fee in the region of £75m was paid for Lukaku, and almost two years on, he has retained that market value, which isn't easy to do in a world where the market is so frequently fluctuating.