Soccerex have published a report of the top 20 players under the age of 21, playing in Europe and Everton’s John Stones made the cut.
The study took into account various aspects to each player aged 20 or under on January 1 2015 – such as the average sale value of the player’s club, market value perception from ‘popular transfer sites and press information’, position of the player, age and length of contract. More personal factors such as national team appearances, minutes played, goals scored and injuries were used to estimate each player’s value.
Nine players from the Premier League were in the top 20 but only three of those were in the top 10. Sterling was at the head of the list; valued at £34.5million, Manchester United’s Memphis Depay and Luke Shaw third and ninth, respectively. Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma (11th), Liverpool’s Emre Can (15th) and Divock Origi (18th) and Arsenal’s Calum Chambers (19th) and Hector Bellerin (20th) complete the Premier League’s representation.
It would have been interesting had Ross Barkley been born a month later and been eligible for this study, what his value would have been and his position on the list.
The study valued Stones at £11.8million but I wouldn’t like to see the look on Evertonians’ faces if that sort of value was offered and accepted by the club. What the study cannot take into account is the potential of the player. Say Stones is worth £10-15million now, but that value is one that can triple if the player has just one tremendous season.
The report also doesn’t take into account the pricing or rather ‘overpricing’ of English players. Neither have Soccerex been able factor in (and it would be harsh to expect them to) what clubs that might buy these players have paid for others in the past. For instance, why (and this is purely hypothetical) would Everton sell Stones for this estimated value to, let’s say Manchester City, when the Citizens made Eliaquim Mangala the most expensive defender in Britain for around £32million and bought Joleon Lescott for around £22million the Toffees.
What I would glean from this study is not the value for Stones but that John Stones is in the top 20 players in Europe under-21 and in the top 5 centre halves in Europe under-21.