Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Mbappe, Hazard, Salah and Sterling: World's best players plummet in value amid coronavirus - in pictures

Transfer experts assess market impact and the results will worry club owners

The world's best footballers have plummeted in value amid the coronavirus crisis, according to a football statistics website.

Global superstars like Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah have all had millions slashed off their estimated worth.

The site, transfermarkt, assesses the value of players using a variety of statistics, including remaining time on contracts, age, and any previous transfer fees. The figures are analysed by members before coming up with an estimated value.

The results will concern club owners hoping to use the summer transfer window to cash in on the value of players to make up for the shortfall in revenue brought about by the pandemic.

“The stock market prices collapsed, many clubs could be threatened by insolvency and transfer plans came to a standstill for most clubs because of the many uncertainties," said Transfermarkt founder Matthias Seidel.

"At the moment, it is difficult to imagine that transfer fees will continue to rise as they have in previous years in the foreseeable future."

With the coronavirus crisis causing a temporary income drop - and uncertainty when it will recover - there is growing concern in football that sky-high fees will be subdued for many years.

Transfermarkt cuts 20 per cent off the value of players born before 1998, with those born after 1998 seeing their value cut by 10 per cent as part of the calculations, with younger players' values remaining more stable.

In another survey conducted by Transfermarkt – with more than 300 people form the football industry from over 50 countries – over 70 per cent expected a significant impact on the transfer business.

Seidel added: “The current global cut (in transfer fees) is a reaction to the extraordinary general situation, in light of which it can’t be ruled out that a further cut has to be made in a few weeks.

“At the moment, it is difficult to imagine that transfer fees will continue to rise as they have in previous years in the foreseeable future.”

Such stats could be welcomed by Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who admitted the Premier League club would be ready to exploit the post-coronavirus transfer market if, as expected, player values drop and clubs look to offload stars to balance the books.

Updated: April 9, 2020 12:18 PM

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