2020 was inarguably an incredibly challenging year for the sport of football, much like for everything and everyone else on the planet. The 3-month shutdown led to the 2019-2020 season being extended and fixtures crammed. That also forced a shorter recovery period before the start of the ongoing 2020-21 season.
With consistency and routine being rendered myths and fatigue (mental and physical) seemingly just around the corner, most footballers are bound to have struggled at some point - if not many - during the season. However, there were several players who managed to overcome the barrage of obstacles and churn in good performances most often than not, throughout the year.
In this listicle. we'll take a look at ten such players whose performances in 2020 (coupled with factors like age and ability) resulted in their respective market values increasing the most (as per Transfermarkt).
#10 Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen): +€25.5M
At the start of 2020, Edmond Tapsoba played for Vitoria Guimaraes in the Premeira Liga - Portugal's top football division - and was estimated to be worth €4.5M.
At the end of the January transfer window, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen for a deal worth €18M + €7M in add-ons.
By the end of December 2020, the 21-year-old Burkinabe centre-back made 40 appearances across all competitions for Leverkusen, quickly establishing himself as an integral part of the team.
The ongoing 2020-21 season is his first full season at the club; he has already started 12 league matches, helping Leverkusen hold third place in the Bundesliga table.
By the end of 2020, Tapsoba's market value increased by €25.5M, and he was estimated to be €30M.
#9 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal): +€27M
Bukayo Saka truly broke onto the scene at Arsenal, full of promise and talent, in the 2019-20 season and has become a key figure in the side ever since. He ended the season with 39 appearances, four goals and 11 assists across all competitions.
At the end of 2019, the 19-year-old Englishman was estimated to be worth €13M. By the end of the 2019-20 season, that figure increased to €35M. In the ongoing 2020-21 season, Saka has already made 20 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and assisting as many.
His performances helped the Gunners lift the FA Cup last season and the FA Community Shield at the start of the ongoing campaign.
Notably, Saka was also called up to the England senior squad and made his international debut; he played three games for his country in 2020.
The end of 2020 saw his market value soar to €40M, an increase of €27M since the start of the year.