Football clubs’ approaches to the transfer market have evolved dramatically. More teams, particularly the big, title-contending European teams, are investing large sums in young and rising stars.
It’s not surprising, then, that four of the top ten most expensive players in history were under the age of 23 at the time of their transfers. With so many talented young guns emerging each season, the trend is set to continue.
Here are the five most valuable attackers under the age of 23 based on current market values: Please keep in mind that all statistics and market values are from Transfermarkt.
Number fifth is Joao Felix, with a transfer rate of £63 million.
It may surprise you to see Joao Felix on this list. That’s because the 21-year-old hasn’t lived up to his full potential for Atletico Madrid since joining Benfica for a world record fee two years ago.
He has gone 19 games without scoring for his club in various competitions. However, given his youth and his promise, the Portuguese winger remains a valuable prospect.
Felix improved last season after a difficult start to life in Madrid, scoring seven goals and assisting six more times. This contributed to the Rojiblancos winning their first La Liga title in seven years. Felix’s best work, on the other hand, is yet to come.
Number four is Marcus Rashford, with a transfer rate of £76.5 million.
Marcus Rashford hasn’t looked back since breaking onto the scene in the Europa League as a promising young 18-year-old in 2015. His Manchester United goal tally currently stands at 91 goals and 57 assists across all competitions.
However, since the start of the 2019-20 season, he has tallied 81 goal contributions (51 goals and 30 assists). Only two other wingers, Mohamed Salah and Jadon Sancho have scored more goals in this period than Rashford.
His stats• 93 appearances • 51 goals • 30 assists
With his lightning-quick pace, close control, deft dribbles, and devastating finishing abilities, the 24-year-old possesses all of the characteristics of a classic winger. On and off the field, he has become something of a talismanic figure. The best part is that there is still room for growth.
Number three is Jadon Sancho, with a transfer rate of 81 million pounds
Jadon Sancho‘s meteoric rise to stardom at Borussia Dortmund captured everyone’s attention. He joined BvB four years ago from Manchester City. Sancho established himself as a world-class winger for the Bundesliga giants with 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 games.
However, his stock has dropped since joining Manchester United this summer. After 13 games across competitions, the Englishman has yet to open his account for the club. Nonetheless, the 21-year-old remains a tremendously talented prospect with plenty of time to turn things around.
Number two is Erling Haaland, with a transfer rate of £135 million.
Is there a player who was less destined for greatness than Erling Haaland? Since making his European debut with RB Salzburg two years ago, the Norwegian has grown by leaps and bounds.
He scored70 goals in 68 games
The Norwegian sharpshooter has honed his skills at Borussia Dortmund. He has increased his already frightening goalscoring rate with 70 goals and 19 assists in 69 games for BvB across competitions.
Number one is Kylian Mbappe with a transfer rate of £144 million.
Kylian Mbappe hasn’t had the most productive start to his 2021-22 season, but he’s still as valuable to PSG. Despite his injury woes and exit rumors, the Frenchman has six goals and eight assists this season across all competitions.
Kylian Mbappe won his sixth Ligue 1 Player of the Month award earlier this year in August. In the process, he broke a tie with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (five).
Kylian Mbappe has been named Ligue 1 Player of the Month for August. Earlier this month, the 22-year-old made up for a poor showing at Euro 2020 with talismanic performances in France’s UEFA Nations League victory. He contributed to Les Blues’ championship with a goal and an assist in each of the semi-final and final games.