“You can’t win anything with kids”. Those now immortal words from pundit Alan Hansen at the start of Manchester United’s 1995/96 season were famously followed up by a Premier League/FA Cup double by the side that had an average age of 26 years and 137 days. If anyone aside from Hansen ever doubted the value of young players, this team proved their worth. Compared to then, the value of a player not just on the pitch but also on the transfer market, has increased almost to the point of ridiculousness.
According to new analysis by CIES Football Observatory, the most valuable English U21 player is currently Tottenham’s Dele Alli. With a potential price tag of £158 million, the midfielder is way ahead of his peers. In fact, when compared to all players in the big five European leagues, Alli is second only to PSG’s Kylian Mbappe who has an estimated value of £161 million.