In modern football it seems clubs know the price of everything but the value of nothing.
But how do we even determine the transfer value of a player amid the craziness of the current market?
Is it just what the buying club is willing to pay? Or is it deeper than that?
The good people at the CIES Football Observatory have the answer.
Well, an answer anyway.
Based on a mathematical formula which is frankly far too complicated for our tiny minds, they’ve come up with a list of the most valuable players in Europe’s top five leagues at this moment in time, and the results are interesting to say the least.
It perhaps won’t surprise you to learn that Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé is the most expensive player on the content, with an estimated value of €265.2m.
But you probably will be shocked to learn that Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is valued at €68.1m higher than Liverpool’s Sadio Mané.
Lionel Messi’s, Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Neymar’s names are notable by their absence from the top five.
But in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, Liverpool do at least boast the two most expensive full-backs in Europe. Not a bad profit on an academy graduate and a player they signed for peanuts.
No prizes for guessing who the most expensive centre-back in Europe is, although we were surprised to see Clément Lenglet at second on the list.
And while it was no surprise to see Alisson Becker top of the goalkeepers’ list, it was incredibly surprising to see Jordan Pickford ahead of both Ederson and Jan Oblak.
It’s the midfielders’ list where things get really interesting though.
According to CIES, the most valuable midfielder in Europe isn’t Kevin De Bruyne, or Paul Pogba or N’Golo Kanté.
*Coleen Rooney voice*
It’s …… Leicester City’s James Maddison.
Sir Alex Ferguson was right, there really is no value in the market.