After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy has emerged as a serious contender for the 2022 edition, which will be held in Qatar. The European behemoths demonstrated their class by winning Euro 2020.
The Azzurri went undefeated throughout the competition, winning all three of their group stage games while keeping a clean sheet. Under Roberto Mancini, they have made an incredible comeback and are now one of the strongest teams in international football.
The value of their players in the transfer market has increased as their form has improved. Some of the increase in the market value of Italian players could be attributed to their triumphant Euro 2020 journey. On that note, here are the five most valuable Italian players according to Transfermarkt right now (October 2021):
Number 5: Marco Verratti – €55,000,000
Marco Verratti, a midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain, is currently the market’s fifth most valuable Italian player. Despite a recent drop in value due to his injury problems, the 28-year-old is still valued at €55 million.
Verratti joined PSG from Pescara in 2012 and has made 353 appearances for the club, which is the second-most in the club’s history. In 2019, the midfielder agreed to a five-year contract extension with the club, keeping him in Paris until 2024.
“I knew Verratti was an excellent player, but I didn’t realize he was so spectacular,” says Neymar. He is a genius. Along with Xavi Hernández and Andres Iniesta, he’s one of the best midfielders I’ve played with.”
Verratti has been courted by a number of clubs during his time at PSG, owing to his quality and consistency. The French giants, on the other hand, have managed to keep hold of him. During the summer transfer window, the club also signed Verratti’s Italy teammate Gianluigi Donnarumma, as well as Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Due to recurring injury issues, Verratti has only made seven appearances for the club this season across all competitions.
Number 4: Alessandro Bastoni -€60 million.
Alessandro Bastoni of Inter Milan is currently ranked fourth on the list of the most valuable Italian players in the market. Last season, the 22-year-old played 33 league games as Inter romped to the Serie A title under Antonio Conte.
The center-current back’s contract with the Nerazzurri expires in three years. However, he has recently been linked with a move to Real Madrid, who are reportedly interested in signing him during the upcoming summer transfer window.
Though Inter hasn’t quite replicated their results from last season (they are still third in the table), Bastoni has continued to perform well. By the time the next summer transfer window opens, he could be one of the hottest properties.
Number 3: Gianluigi Donnarumma -(€65 million)
Gianluigi Donnarumma joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer from AC Milan during the summer transfer window this year. The 22-year-old has signed a five-year contract with PSG as part of a massive summer overhaul as the French giants strive for the elusive Champions League title.
Donnarumma has appeared in five league games for PSG, keeping one clean sheet. The Italian has been swapping places in the starting eleven with Keylor Navas.
“Donnarumma is reminiscent of Buffon.” How come we weren’t able to convince him to join Juventus? I still don’t make decisions, but if I do something different in a few years, I’ll give it a shot.
The former Milan goalkeeper was an important member of Italy’s national team, winning Euro 2020 earlier this year. In the group stage, he kept three clean sheets and helped the Azzurri win consecutive penalty shootouts in the semifinals and final. For his heroics, he was named tournament player of the year and is currently valued at €65 million.
Number 2: Nicol Barella – €65 million
Inter Milan midfielder Nicol Barella is currently the market’s second most valuable Italian player. Barella joined Inter from Cagliari in the 2020 summer transfer window for €32.50 million and has since more than doubled his market value.
In the 2020-21 season, the midfielder scored three goals and provided ten assists to help Inter win the Serie A title. In the current league season, he has continued to assist his teammates in a similar manner.
So far in the 2021-22 Serie A season, Barella has scored once and assisted on six goals, making him the league’s top assist-maker. He is still under contract with the Italian champions for another three years.
Number 1: Federico Chiesa -€70 million.
Federico Chiesa’s stock skyrocketed following Italy’s incredible Euro 2020 performance. He scored two goals for the Azzurri while appearing in all seven tournament matches.
Chiesa joined Juventus from Fiorentina in the 2020 summer transfer window in a deal worth up to €60 million if all conditions are met. He joined Juventus on a two-year loan deal, with the Italian champions obligated to pay €10 million per year. At the end of the loan, they will pay Fiorentina up to €40 million for a potential permanent deal.
He hasn’t had a great league season so far, with only one goal and one assist, but he’s still been linked with Premier League clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool. According to some reports, Chiesa turned down the chance to join Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in 2020, instead opting for Juventus.