what African players are worth – Jeune Afrique

It should come as no surprise that Paris Saint-Germain French striker Kylian Mbappé (23) culminates at the top of this biennial ranking from the very serious International Center for Sports Studies (CIES), based in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). on the value of football players. The PSG and French team striker weighs 205.6 million euros. He is ahead of Brazilian Vinicius Junior who plays for Real Madrid (185.3 million), Norwegian Erling Haaland who has just transferred from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City (152.6 million), Spaniard Pedri Gonzalez (FC Barcelona, 135.1 million) and Englishman Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund, 133.7 million).

Mane not so expensive

Three African football players are featured in this Top 100. They are Moroccan Achraf Hakimi (23), Mbappe’s teammate at PSG (75.2 million), Egyptian Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, 55 million) and Nigerian Victor Osimhen (Naples, 51 million). But no Sadio Mane, who is still listed for 40.3 million euros. “Mane is 30 years old and his contract expires on June 30, 2023. But in 2019, when he was 27, his market value was 160 million euros,” explains Raffaele Poli, director of CIES. For a 30-year-old player, his value remains high. †

To determine this classification, the CIES relies on several criteria: the player’s age, the duration of his contract with his club and the level of the latter, the analysis of previous transfers, individual and collective performances, the position taken – an attacking player is traditionally more expensive – and the player’s status with his national team. “To stay with Mane, it would be more expensive than now if he evolved into a selection of the world’s top,” continues Raffaele Poli.

Of the three Africans featured in this ranking, two are attackers (Osimhen and Salah), while Hakimi is a defender. “Mohamed Salah is the same age as Mane, but if his rating is higher than that of his club mate, it is because he scores more goals: he has been the top goalscorer in the English league several times,” said Polite. Salah is estimated on the Transfermarkt site at 100 million euros, but for a 30-year-old player the investment seems too high and a transfer is preferable to negotiate around 70-80 million.

Salah overrated?

The most interesting case concerns Achraf Hakimi. Valued today at 75.2 million, it was worth 108.2 last January. The value of the former defender of Real Madrid and Inter Milan, who bought PSG in July 2021 for 60 million (and 11 million bonuses) paid for the disappointing results of his club between January and May, although champion of France, but eliminated early Champions League. He himself delivered less convincing performances than at the beginning of the season. According to several specialists, the real value of Hakimi today is closer to 80 million than 108.

It is interesting to compare the estimates of CIES with those of Transfermarkt. On the latter, Salah is worth 100 million, Mané 80, Hakimi and Osimhen 65. “At CIES we have an algorithm, our approach is scientific and predictive”, argues Poli while Transfermarkt, in addition to conventional data (age, position, performance), on the feelings of employees. And when negotiating a player’s transfer between two clubs, managers can refer to the values ​​of CIES and Transfermarkt.

“For Mane, whose departure from Liverpool is becoming increasingly apparent, this could be a point of discussion. Liverpool want to sell him for more than €40 million. The club has rejected two offers and hopes to transfer the Senegalese for at least €40 million. Poli continues. In some cases, these estimates from CIES and Transfermarkt may affect the amount of a transfer.

The three African players featured in this ranking also benefit from the sporting weight of their nationality. Hakimi, Salah and Osimhen represent three of the best African squads, including Sadio Mané. “The more a national team achieves results on the international stage, the more it will contribute to a player’s appreciation,” explains Poli.

Bamba Dieng, very promising

Empirically, the best African players come from countries considered to be the powerhouses of continental football (Maghreb, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana), so it makes sense to find them in the major European clubs. “It helps to increase their value. What will be interesting to observe are the emerging African players, such as the young Senegalese Bamba Dieng [Marseille] already valued at 10 million euros by Transfermarkt,” says a broker who asked for anonymity.

Dieng could leave OM in the coming weeks, as Freiburg (Germany) and English clubs are interested. But his club sets the bar at 15 million euros, 50% more than the opportunities shown by Transfermarkt. As the transfer market opens in Europe in June, the number of visits to the pages of the CIES and Transfermarkt sites is likely to explode.

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