Real Madrid & Barcleona dominate – The most valuable U21 players in La Liga


16-year-old Yamal up to €75m 

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La Liga has long been renowned for producing some of the best young talent in world football. Barcelona’s La Masia has developed superstars such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi in recent decades, whilst Real Madrid have also altered their strategy lately to focus on investing in younger players and transform them into world beaters.

In the latest La Liga market value update on March 21, the league increased its total value by around €45.10 million to take the division to a €5 billion total market value (the second most valuable league in the world behind the Premier League), with lots of rises for the leagues youthful talents. But who are the top 10 most valuable U21 players in La Liga? Barcelona boast five of the 10 players in question.

The top 10 most valuable U21 players in La Liga

1. Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid – 20 years old – €180m: Jude Bellingham has taken the footballing world by storm since his €103m move to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund last summer, scoring 20 goals in just 28 games in La Liga and the Champions League already this season. Back in December he was rewarded with a +€30m market value increase to make the Englishmen the most valuable player in the world at €180m.

2. Gavi – Barcelona – 19 years old – €90m: Spanish midfield sensation Gavi hasn’t played since last November, after picking up an ACL injury. His rise to prominence was quite something, as he became the youngest player to ever score for Spain aged just 17 (a record which has since been beaten by Lamine Yamal). Gavi remains an integral part of Barcelona’s future, and one can only hope the serious injury doesn’t derail his progress.

3. Eduardo Camavinga – 21 years old – €90m: Frenchmen Eduardo Camavinga has become a key part of Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid team, and has already shown his versatility. A central midfielder by trade, the 21-year-old has often filled in at left-back for the ‘Los Blancos’. Camavinga was signed from Ligue 1 team Stade Rennais for back in 2021 for €31m, and has seen his market value steadily increase to €90m.

4. Pedri – Barcelona – 21 years old – €80m: Another young Barcelona player who has had his rapid rise halted by injury. Pedri has missed 13 of Barca’s 29 La Liga games this season, primarily due to hamstring problems. However, when he has played he has dazzled, leading many people to draw comparisons between Pedri and Barcelona legend Iniesta. In the latest market value update Pedri suffered a -€10m market value downgrade.

5. Lamine Yamal – Barcelona – 16 years old – €75m: This boys a star. At just 16 years of age, Lamine Yamal has already made himself a key part of the first team at Barcelona. The teenager is defying his years and already has four goals and six assists in La Liga this season. He has been rewarded with a +€15m market value increase to take his value to €75m – making him by far the most valuable 16 year old in world football.

6. Nico Williams – Athletic Club – 21 years old – €50m: The first player on the list who doesn’t play for either Real Madrid or Barcelona. One of the most exciting young wingers in world football, Nico Williams has been linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, with both Arsenal and Chelsea reportedly interested. Williams has nine assists in La Liga this season – no player in the division has more. The Athletic Club man was given a +€10m increase in market value back in December, taking his value to €50m.

7. Vitor Roque – Barcelona – 19 years old – €40m: Brazilian teenager Vitor Roque sealed his €40m move from Brazil to Barcelona in January. Since then he has featured nine ttimes in La Liga for the Spanish giants and scored two goals. He will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo who made the move from Brazil to La Liga and saw their market value sky-rocket.

8. Samu Omorodion – Deportivo Alaves – 19 years old – €40m: One of the standout breakthrough stars in the Spanish top-flight this season, Samu Omorodion has nine goals in 28 league games this campaign and has recently been linked with some of Europe’s top clubs. The young striker is on loan from Atletico Madrid and with his current form is likely to be part of Diego Simeone’s plans next season.

9. Sávio – Girona – 19 years old – €40m: Girona have been one of the stories of the season. The Catalonian club led the La Liga table at Christmas. Since then there has been a drop off and the club are now third. A lot of their success has been due to the form of young Brazilian winger Sávio, who has eight goals and seven assists in the league this term. He has been rumoured with a summer move to Manchester City, who share the same ownership group as Girona.

10. Alejandro Balde – Barcelona – 20 years old – €40m: Alejandro Balde was another one of Barcelona’s breakthrough academy products last season. The young Spaniard made the left-back position his own, playing 33 times in La Liga. This campaign he has played just 18 league games and struggles to nail down his spot in the team. Balde suffered a -€10m downgrade in this latest La Liga market value update, taking his value to €40m.

LaLiga: The biggest winners of the March 2024 update

12. Juanlu Sánchez | Sevilla FC | +€7m

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New market value: €15m

11. Álvaro Valles | UD Las Palmas | +€7m

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New market value: €15m

10. Mason Greenwood | Getafe CF | +€7.5m

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New market value: €15m

9. Hugo Duro | Valencia CF | +€8m

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New market value: €16m

8. Andriy Lunin | Real Madrid | +€8m

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New market value: €16m

7. Ilias Akhomach | Villarreal CF | +€9m

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New market value: €12m

6. Sávio | Girona FC | +€10m

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New market value: €40m

5. Isaac Romero | Sevilla FC | +€14.6m

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New market value: €14m

4. Brahim Díaz | Real Madrid | +€15m

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New market value: €35m

3. Lamine Yamal | FC Barcelona | +€15m

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New market value: €75m

2. Samu Omorodion | Alavés | +€20m

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New market value: €40m

1. Pau Cubarsí | FC Barcelona | +€23.5m

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New market value: €25m


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