Mbappe, Rashford, Pulisic & the world's most expensive young players

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The latest Soccerex 20 Under 21 Report values the game’s best young talent, with the combined total topping €1 billion for the first time

The last 12 months have seen transfer fees rocket and records set, with Neymar’s €222 million (£198m/$258m) move to Paris Saint-Germain setting a new benchmark.

The ‘Neymar Effect’ is also in evidence in the latest 'Soccerex 20 Under 21 Report' which values players born on or after January 1, 1997.

Using the Football Value Index compiled by Prime Time Sport, the report takes into account the player’s age, position, current club, contract length, market value perception, international caps, minutes played, goals, injuries and technical quality from a variety of sources to arrive at a final valuation.

The combined total of the top 20 players has now surpassed €1bn (£892m/$1.2bn), a 66 per cent increase on 12 months ago, while there are five players who still command a place high on the list for a second year running.

  1. =19. Cengiz Under | Roma | €31.9m (£28.5m/$37.1m)

    The Turkey winger joined Roma in a €13 million deal in the summer of 2017 and he enjoyed a positive first season at Stadio Olimpico, scoring in the Champions League last-16 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk.
  2. =19. Allan Saint-Maximin | Nice | €31.9m (£28.5m/$37.1m)

    Following loan spells at Hannover and Bastia the winger left Monaco permanently last summer to join Nice, where he demonstrated his dribbling skills and undoubted natural talent on a more consistent basis.
  3. 18. Houssem Aouar | Lyon | €34.5m (£30.8m/$40.1m)

    The midfielder enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2017-18, establishing himself as a key figure for Lyon. He has already been linked with the likes of Liverpool and Barcelona, and it seems likely he will eventually join the list of players who have left Lyon for big fees.
  4. 17. Patrick Cutrone | Milan | €35m (£31.2m/£40.7m)

    Despite a summer of lavish spending by Milan in 2017, it was a homegrown product who made the biggest impact up front in the 2017-18 season. Drawing comparisons to former Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, Cutrone averaged a goal nearly every three games in Serie A and also made his senior Italy debut.
  5. 16. Dayot Upamecano | RB Leipzig | €39.6m (£35.3m/$46.1m)

    The 19-year-old has enjoyed a stellar 18 months with RB Leipzig and the France Under 21 international is a defensive star in the making, with Barcelona and Manchester United already taking note.
  6. 15. Rodrygo | Santos | €40m (£35.7m/$46.5m)

    The 17-year-old only needed a handful of games to convince the big clubs to come calling and he has already agreed a deal to join Real Madrid for slightly more than his valuation on this list. Madrid have agreed to pay a reported €45m (£39.3m/$52.2m), which is a record to a Latin American club, to sign Rodrygo, with the forward to spend another year with Santos before moving to Spain.
  7. 14. Vinicius Junior | Real Madrid | €45.1m (£40.2m/$58.5m)

    One Brazilian teenager who has already completed his move to Real Madrid is Vinicius Junior. Like Rodrygo, the forward agreed his transfer 12 months before he travelled over to Spain, and Madrid have paid Flamengo a fee very close to his valuation.
  8. 13. Matthijs de Ligt | Ajax | €50.4m (£45m/$58.6m)

    Widely regarded as the best young centre-back in world football, De Ligt is already on the radar of a number of major European clubs. Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City and Manchester United are among the teams interested in De Ligt, and he could cost a princely sum if he is prised away from Ajax.
  9. 12. Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | €50.7m (£45.2m/$59m)

    The first Premier League player on the list took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne's absence to establish himself as Liverpool's first-choice right-back, and it looks a position he can keep for the next decade and more. The 19-year-old was also part of England's World Cup squad in Russia.
  10. =10. Ryan Sessegnon | Fulham | €51.3m (£45.8m/$59.7m)

    Capable of playing at full-back or on the wing on the left side, Sessegnon was the star man in the Championship last season as he helped Fulham win promotion to the Premier League. With top-flight football on offer at Craven Cottage next season, it also means his suitors will likely have to wait at least another 12 months to sign him.
  11. =10. Mikel Oyarzabal | Real Sociedad | €51.3m (£45.8m/$59.7m)

    The winger is regarded as one of the most promising prospects in Spain and could be part of a new wave of players to brought into the national team squad. He is also a target for Roma.
  12. 9. Leon Bailey | Bayer Leverkusen | €56.5m (£50.5m/$65.8m)

    The Bayer Leverkusen winger has a clutch of both clubs and national teams chasing his services after dazzling in the Bundesliga last season. He is yet to make a decision on his future, but is reportedly high up on Chelsea's summer shopping list.
  13. 8. Christian Pulisic | Borussia Dortmund | €61.2m (£54.6m/$71.2m)

    The crown jewel of the USMNT, Pulisic perhaps didn't quite hit the heights last season at Dortmund compared to the previous year. However, he remains a player full of potential and it's only a matter of time before he takes the next step in his career.
  14. 7. Gianluigi Donnarumma | Milan | €62.8m (£56m/$73m)

    The first player from the 2017 report to make it back for 2018, Donnarumma, like Pulisic, did not enjoy as consistent or stellar a year as the previous one. However, his value has gone up by around 50 per cent over the past 12 months and he is being considered by Roma as a replacement for Liverpool target Alisson.
  15. 6. Federico Chiesa | Fiorentina | €63.6m (£56.7m/$74m)

    The highest-placed Italian player on the list, Chiesa has been attracting interest from the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham, while Inter Milan and Roma head up the clubs keen to keep him in Serie A. However, Fiorentina remain optimistic they will not have to test his market value this summer.
  16. 5. Malcom | Bordeaux | €64.6m (£57.6m/$75.1m)

    One of the stars of Ligue 1 last season, Malcom came close to leaving Bordeaux in the January transfer window when he was targeted by Arsenal and Tottenham. The Brazilian winger is again a wanted man, with Everton and Inter Milan both keen on a summer deal.
  17. 4. Ousmane Dembele | Barcelona | €84.3m (£75.2m/$98.3m)

    Down a place from 12 months ago, Dembele nevertheless has seen his value rise from €60.9m (£54.3m/$70.8m) after he joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund. Dembele took time to find his feet at Camp Nou before a positive end to the campaign saw him win La Liga and be part of France's World Cup-winning squad.
  18. 3. Gabriel Jesus | Manchester City | €88m (£78.5m/$102.3m)

    The striker's value has almost doubled over the past 12 months and he continues to boast an impressive goalscoring ratio for Premier League champions Manchester City. He did endure a frustrating World Cup, but that is likely to be only a blip in what should be a fruitful and goal-laden career.
  19. 2. Marcus Rashford | Manchester United | €89.2m (£79.6m/$103.7m)

    Rashford may still be trying to convince Jose Mourinho to start him on a regular basis at Manchester United, but he has risen five places in this list from 12 months ago and also added nearly €50m (£45m/$58m) to his value. He showed flashes of his brilliance for England at the World Cup and will now look to become a fixture in United's starting line-up.
  20. 1. Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain | €192.3m (£171.5m/$223.6m)

    It's perhaps no surprise that Mbappe has jumped up one place to take top spot on the back of his impressive debut season at PSG and his role in France winning the World Cup in Russia, where he was named the tournament's best young player. The forward initially joined PSG on loan from Monaco before the deal was turned into a €180m (£160m/$209m) permanent arrangement.

    Should he leave PSG, however, amid rumours he is wanted by Real Madrid to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, then his current team-mate Neymar's standing as the world's most expensive player will be under threat.

  21. Soccerex 20 Under 21 Report

    On November 15 and 16, Soccerex will be hosting Soccerex USA at Miami’s Marlins Park. Thousands of delegates and hundreds of rights holders from more than 40 countries, will be in Miami to provide two days of unrivaled commercial, networking and learning opportunities for thousands of soccer business professionals.

    https://www.soccerex.com/events/soccerex-usa-2018