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Arsenal absent as Chelsea ‘project’ bears fruit in ranking of clubs by transfer value added of U23s

Arsenal absent as Chelsea ‘project’ bears fruit in ranking of clubs by transfer value added of U23s

Brighton are unsurprisngly smashing it when it comes to transfer value increases in their young stars, but there are also green shoots of optimism for the Chelsea ‘project’ and for Manchester United.

We’ve picked out every Premier League player in the CIES Football Observatory’s list of the top 100 Under 23 players in the world whose transfer value has increased the most over the last six months, and ranked the 11 clubs with representation according to the total value increase.

It’s not entirely clear how CIES come up with these values – they’re significantly different to Transfermarkt’s – but they claim it’s ‘based on more than 6000 paying fee transactions’ which allows the ‘to accurately predict the transfer fees that clubs are likely to pay, given the prices invested in the past for players with similar characteristics’. It certainly sounds good.

Arsenal fans can give up now, as they don’t have a single player in the top 100.

1) Brighton: +€196m
Joao Pedro: €30m to €78m (+€48m)
Bart Verbruggen: €15m to €52m (+€37m)
Simon Adringra: €18m to €53m (+€35m)
Facundo Buonanotte: €26m to €56m (+€30m)
Evan Ferguson: €71m to €94m (+€23m)
Billy Gilmour: €13m to €36m (+€23m)

They just keep getting it right. Pedro and Verbruggen joined in the summer, while Adingra, Buonanotte and Gilmour have featured far more heavily this term after a fairly typical bedding in period at the Amex. Feerguson’s value is extraordinary given he’s scored just 16 senior goals in his career, and perhaps says more about the lack of quality centre-forwards on the market than anything else. Chelsea will presumably go £20m above said value in any case.

2) Chelsea: +€158m
Cole Palmer: €47m to €117m (+€70m)
Nicolas Jackson: €53m to €97m (+€44m)
David Datro Fofana: €16m to €32m (+€16m)
Malo Gusto: €21m to €36m (+€15m)
Noni Madueke: €36m to €49m (+€13m)

No Premier League player’s value has increased more than Cole Palmer’s, and fair enough. He’s got more goal contributions in Europe’s top five leagues than any other Under 21 player and has carried Chelsea all season. We would however question whether Todd Boehly could really hope to secure close to €100m for Nicolas Jackson. We love him, but a significant portion of that love is based on how flawed he is as a footballer. Only Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been a worse finisher in the Premier League this season.

3) Manchester United: +€138m
Kobbie Mainoo: €3m to €53m (+€50m)
Alejandro Garnacho: €65m to €108m (+€43m)
Rasmus Hojlund: €70m to €108m (+€38m)

In Mainoo’s case, that’s a €50m transfer value increase in four and a half months given his season started at the end of November. That’s four and a half months to become worth as much as Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Federico Chiesa, and that feels entirely reasonable, no matter what Gary Neville says.

Kudos to Hojlund for managing to increase his transfer value by 54 per cent having failed to open his Premier League account for 14 games and averaging a goal every 246 minutes. Incidentally, Mohamed Kudos has the same transfer value.

4) Manchester City: +€110m
Jeremy Doku: €54m to €107m (+€53m)
Oscar Bobb: €3m to €32m (+€29m)
Rico Lewis: €54m to €82m (+€28m)

That’s a hell of a lot of money for a winger who has failed to score or assist in 28 of his 25 appearances this season, and if you were to ask buying clubs who they would prefer to sign out of Doku and Bobb we have a feeling the majority would go for the latter.

5) Tottenham: +€104m
Destiny Udogie: €54m to €89m (+€35m)
Pape Matar Sarr: €20m to €54m (+€34m)
Micky van de Ven: €38m to €60m (+€22m)
Brennan Johnson: €48m to €61m (+€13m)

A big win for Postecoglou, this. The Australian boss signed three of these four players in his first transfer window in charge and they’ve all been excellent. He’s also given Sarr a proper chance to assert himself in the team and the Senegal international has grasped that opportunity with both hands.

6) Liverpool: +€72m
Jarell Quansah: €3m to €30m (+€27m)
Ryan Gravenberch: €35m to €62m (+€27m)
Harvey Elliott: €67m to €85m (+€18m)

We’re not sure a value increase has us questioning the CIES algorithm more than Elliott’s. Good player, sure, but no one is paying that for someone who may not ever be good enough to play for England. Fully expect Quansah to be worth twice as much this time next season.

7) Everton: +€28m
Jarrad Branthwaite: €22m to €50m (+€28m)

Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid all supposedly being keen means Branthwaite is one of very few players on this list who will likely be sold for more than that value. He comes with a triple-threat tax.

8) Newcastle: +€24m
Valentino Livramento: €6m to €30m (+€24m)

Signed for €7m less than that current value in the summer, the strangest thing about this is that he was worth just €6m at the time. Presumably his season-long injury for Southampton played a signficant part in it being so low.

9) Bournemouth: +€22m
Ilya Zabarnyi: €26m to €48m (+€22m)

The Ukraine international is one of just three outfield players in the Premier League to have played every minute this season, along with William Saliba and Max Kilman. Chelsea were linked before he joined Bournemouth and Zabarnyi was one of Ange Postecoglou’s alternative options to Radu Dragusin in January.

10) Wolves: +€20m
Rayan Ait Nouri: €26m to €46m (+€20m)

Transfer interest will no doubt re-emerge in the summer, with Liverpool and Arsenal both previously interested in the Algerian.

11) Nottingham Forest: +€20m
Murrillo: €10m to €30m (+€20m)

Nottingham Forest apparently value the Brazilian – who only joined from Corinthians in the summer for €12m – at closer to £50m, though a report claims their financial woes could mean they have to slash prices to balance the books. Again, Arsenal and Liverpool are thought to be keen.

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