Most managers and pundits agree – if you control the midfield, you control the game. It therefore stands to reason that a midfielder, such as Paul Pogba, sold for a record fee to Manchester United.
With that in mind, Briefly.co.za decides to evaluate the 5 most sought after midfielders on the planet.
Valuations have been sourced from Transfermarkt and age is taken into account as well.
Saul Niguez - Atletico Madrid (€90million)
The Spaniard is the surprise package on the list.
Aged 23, he is yet to enter his prime years as a footballer but already seems to be the full package.
He combines his pace with glorious control and vision to unlock defences.
While the media focused on Antoine Griezman’s decision to stay loyal to Atletico Madrid, the club will also be breathing a sigh of relief that Saul’s head hasn’t been turned either.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - Lazio (€90million)
The Serb has been integral to the success of Lazio in recent times.
A reported target of Manchester United and Real Madrid, it’s hard to argue with his star quality.
Milinkovic-Savic has a dominant presence in midfield thanks to his imposing frame.
He is equally adept at destroying opposition attacks at defensive midfield as he is at constructing the play in a more attacking role.
Dele Alli - Tottenham Hotspur (€100million)
Harry Kane gets most of the plaudits but many believe it is Alli who makes Tottenham tick.
The Englishman is close to scoring 40 goals, which is a great return for a midfielder.
His clinical finishing and ability to link midfield and attack are his greatest strengths.
Tottenham would have been overjoyed that he signed a new contract so they’d recoup a king’s ransom if they are forced into selling one day.
Philippe Coutinho - Barcelona (€150million)
The Brazilian’s star shone brightly at Liverpool but eyebrows were raised when Barcelona splashed €130million to acquire his services.
However, his current value has only appreciated since his move to the Catalan side.
Coutinho has shown off his versatility switching between the wide-forward role and in central midfield.
Touted as the long-term successor to Andries Iniesta, he dazzles the Nou Camp faithful with his quick feet, mesmerising runs and deadly shooting.
Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City (€150million)
The Belgian is arguably the premier midfielder in the world today.
De Bruyne’s potential was very evident while at Chelsea but he couldn’t crack a regular place in the starting line-up.
The Blues then sold him to Wolfsburg for €22million, which looks like pocket change now.
Manchester City eventually bought him from the German side.
Although he made a name for himself under previous managers, he has truly come into his own under Pep Guardiola.
Shifted from a wide role and number 10 into a more centralised position, De Bruyne was rated as the best midfielder in the English Premier League last season.
He therefore deserves his spot as the most valued on this list.
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