Vinicius in pursuit of Mbappe and Hollande
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea-Belgium) = 85 million euros
Chelsea paid 113m euros for Romelu Lukaku last summer at an estimated cost of 100m. After a disappointing season in England, the Belgian forward lost value and reputation and was a burden on the Blues and is now being asked back to Inter. His career has slowed down and it is not certain that he will be able to regain maximum momentum, and given the striker’s age, we can state that Lukaku’s peak value is behind him.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City-England) = €85 million
Evaluate the quality depth of City’s squad: the €85 million player is a rotation player for Josep Guardiola. Raheem has 23 appearances in the starting lineup in 38 rounds of the APL and five starts in 12 Champions League games. Not surprisingly, Sterling is in no hurry to renew his contract with the Citizens, which expires next year.
Yosua Kimmich (Bayern-Germany) = 85 million euros
At his peak, Kimmich was valued at 90 million euros, now 85, which is exactly ten times what Bayern grabbed for his transfer to Stuttgart in 2015. These are purely nominal values, because Josua looks like someone who will play in Munich until his footballing old age, like Müller. Thomas was once valued at solid amounts, too, but they remained nominal, as the move to another club did not happen.
Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus-Serbia) = €85 million
Three years ago, in 2019, Vlahovic was valued at 1.5 million euros, in 2020 the Serbian was already worth 16, last summer – 40, and now – 85. Juventus paid almost as much to Fiorentina for the transfer of Dusan in the winter, and the amount could still increase due to bonuses. Vlahovic is one of the strongest forwards of the new wave, if he does not stop in development, in the next couple of years “will break a hundred,” the youth in combination with a large number of goals to help.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United-Portugal) = €90 million
A terrible season for Manchester United, not the best individual performance from Bruno Fernandes, despite 10 goals in the APL and a solid number of assists. People expect more from the Portuguese, and evaluate him accordingly, namely as a star of world soccer. Does Bruno live up to that status?
Phil Foden (Manchester City-England) = €90 million
Another young and growing body, another rotation player for Josep Guardiola. Foden played slightly more often than Sterling but was also far from always in the starting line-up. However, these are the rules at Manchester City: the coaching staff must justify the depth of the expensive squad with rotation, for the energy-consuming tasks of Pepe you need freshness on the field. Foden combines freshness with youth, although there is a sense that he has already reached his individual ceiling in the current system.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City-Belgium) = €90 million
De Bruyne is Manchester City’s brightest player under Guardiola, the Belgian man manages to prove himself personally in a team where the collective is more important than the personal. In 2018 and 2019, Transfermarkt valued Kevin at 150 million, but after a few years and several injuries, that amount is “only” 90.
Harry Kane (Tottenham-England) = 100 million euros
Last summer Harry Kane nearly missed out on a move to Manchester City, then came back to Tottenham for a long time but in the end he did not lose face – he scored the usual 20+ goals in a season and celebrated the return of Spurs to the Champions League. True, his teammate Son scored more, but Kane is still regarded as Tottenham’s main attacking force by inertia.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool-Egypt) = 100 million euros
Salah’s virtual price for a couple of years (2018-2019) held steady at €150 million, as did Kevin De Bruyne. Now the value of the Egyptian is on the decline because of his age, and from a soccer point of view, last season could be a turning point in the career of Mohamed. Salah was great in the fall, but after the African Cup of Nations and a failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, he never returned.
Vinicius Júnior (Real Madrid-Brazil) = 100 million euros
Salah had a lot of chances in the Champions League final but Courtois managed all his shots and Vinicius converted his one and brought Real Madrid to victory in Paris. The nimble Brazilian has improved under Ancelotti and wants to become even more effective. He looks like a major contender to challenge Hollande and Mbappe, who are promised titles, crowns and Golden Balls in the latest soccer era.
Erling Holand (Manchester City-Norway) = €150 million
Holand moved to Manchester City, will play for his father’s team, who de facto ended his career after one Manchester derby in which Roy Keane took vicious revenge on him. Erling is a brave guy, since he chose the APL, wants to play in a competitive environment and hopes to succeed. If he scores regularly for City and wins the Champions League, he will reach for the Ballon d’Or.
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain-France) = €160 million
While Vinicius won the Champions League and Hollande accepted a new challenge, Mbappe decided to stay in Paris with a new contract. No matter how much Kylian convinces himself that this decision is due to sporting reasons and patriotic feelings, there is a great risk to run out of motivation next season, because there is so much money now that it would be difficult to spend in two lifetimes, and all around is the same routine – 38 rounds of League 1 with a predictable outcome and high hopes for the Champions League.