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Most Valuable La Liga Players of 2021

Tue 23 November 2021 | 14:30

Join us as we take a look at the most valuable La Liga players of 2021 to find out which player has impressed more and was also coveted more in the past year:

In our latest article about the most valuable Premier League players in 2021, we explored the way football is increasingly becoming a multi-faceted industry as the influence of sponsors, viewers and the billionaires that own many of Europe’s top clubs, increases. And how that influence and influx of money has changed the way players are valued, with transfer records being broken every few months. Now it’s time to look at the Premier League’s closest competitor, La Liga, to look at how these changes have effected them. around.

While for most, La Liga seems to be past its prime with superstars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were the main focus of the league’s golden era, gone abroad to Ligue 1 and the Premier League, delving deeper into the league’s valuable players and the whopping amount of young talented superstars that are present in the league would suggest that La Liga is very much not past its prime and is gearing up for yet another golden age. Players like Frankie de Jong, Vinicius Junior and Joao Felix are a few of those players who are among the

most valuable La Liga players of 2021

. So let’s find out who else is there:

Most valuable players in La Liga

In ranking the most valuable players in La Liga, we have decided to once again refer to the Transfermarkt website as it is the most credible and reliable source when it comes to player values and all the financial aspects of football:

10. Jules Kounde (Sevilla, France)

First up we have Jules Kounde as one of the

most valuable players in La Liga

since the Frenchman has impressed a lot in the past couple of seasons. So much so that he earned a call up to the insanely talented French squad for the Euro 2020 and then he was subject to a lengthy transfer saga all the way through the 2021 summer transfer window that involved teams like Chelsea and Manchester United. However, as many thought his transfer to Chelsea was done already the move fell through in the last minute, leaving him a Sevilla player until at least the January of 2022!

Born in Paris a few months after France’s 1998 World Cup triumph, Jules Kounde went on to make his professional debut not for a local club but Bordeaux, having prior climbed the development ladder at the club. after 2 impressive seasons at Bordeaux, Jules Kounde caught the eye of many top clubs but he decided to further develop his skills as a complete defender at Sevilla rather than moving to a big club straight away. the move cost Sevilla a reported €25 million but we suspect they will more than recoup that fee in the next few months.

A ball playing defender who is adept at playing as both a center back and a full back with an emphasis on being a center back, Jules Kounde was one of La Liga best players in 2021 as he helped Sevilla book a Champions League spot for the 2021-22 season. it will be interesting to see if

Chelsea

come back for him in January, especially since they have a defender shortage in the back, and snatch up yet another one of the most valuable La Liga players of 2021 who is valued around €60m and bring him to England!

9. Ansu Fati (Barcelona, Spain)

Perhaps many of you thought that Barcelona’s wonder kid, Ansu Fati, be much higher on our list of most valuable La Liga players of 2021 since he is one of the

best players in La Liga right now

but the horrendous injury that the 19 year old suffered last season which kept him out for almost an entire year has taken its toll on his market value but the way he shines every time he is on the pitch, Ansu Fati is bound to get that value up once again!

Having moved to Sevilla with his older brother and family at the age of 6, Ansu Fati began playing youth football shortly after the move and ended up representing

Sevilla

’s youth teams before moving to Barcelona’s La Masia academy at the age of 10. There he became one of La Masia’s most prominent youngsters in quite some time which then earned him his senior debut for Barcelona during the 2019-20 while he was still a 16 year old. That season proved to be a breakout one as Fati played alongside the legendary Lionel Messi and scored 8 in all competitions.

The following 2020-21 season was supposed to be the season where he was fully integerated to the team but after only 10 games in which he scored 5 goals in, Fati suffered a horrible Mensical Laceration injury that kept him out for more than 320 days. He has since made his return this season, although he is far from being fully fit, and has managed to score 4 goals in 7 matches he has played this season, showing that his injury didn’t actually affect his performances on the pitch.

By being valued around €60m, Ansu Fati is not only one of the most valuable La Liga players of 2021 but one of the most valuable young players in the world making him one of the most important players at Barcelona, despite his young age. It will be interesting to see how Xavi’s guidance will shape Ansu Fati’s future and will he become the Messi successor that Barcelona fans crave him to be?!

8. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid, Uruguay)

From a Barcelona youngster to a Real Madrid one as we have Federico Valverde as one of the valuable La Liga players in 2021. The Uruguayan midfielder has really come into his own in the past couple of seasons and has been able to carve out a place for himself in Real Madrid’s impressive midfield line, although injuries have hampered his progress quite a bit. His performances have been enough for Real Madrid to let go of players like Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard in favor of him.

Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, Fede Valverde made his professional debut for

Penarol

and it wasn’t long that he caught the eye of many European clubs. He then moved to Real Madrid in 2016 and played for their reserve side Castilla for a season before being loaned out to Deportivo La Coruna for a season. upon his return it was Julen Lopetegui who gave him a chance and brought him to the first team in order to replace the newly departed Marcos Llorente. A job that Fede Valverde has been doing quite well since then.

Having helped Real Madrid immensely in the 2019-20 season to win the La Liga title, Valverde became a favorite of both

Zidane

and the fans, something that has not changed since. The fact that he can hold his own amongst the likes of Modric, Kroos and Casemiro and his age (23) makes him one of the most valuable players in La Liga and a great asset to Real Madrid as he is valued somewhere around €65m. They are sure to build their team around players like Valverde as their previous generation of players are nearing the end of their career.

7. Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad, Spain)

A player that has gone under the radar of many football fans in the past couple of seasons has been Real Sociedad’s skipper who we previously highlighted as one of the

best La Liga players of 2020-21 season

. Sociedad’s winger, has not only been brilliant for his team and been a great part of their recent success but also he has been a standout player for Spain in Euro 2020, Olympics and UEFA Nations League which is why he is considered to be one of the

most valuable La Liga players of 2021

.

A product of Real Sociedad’s own academy, Oyarzabal made his debut for Sociedad and impressed during the 2015-16 season when he was barely 18 years old. And since the 2017-18 season, Oyarzabal has constantly scored 10+ goals a season as well as providing near as much assists for Sociedad culminating in their surprise 2019-20 Copa del Rey trophy where they finally won a silverware after 34 years with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring the only goal of the game against Athletic Bilbao.

His 11 goals and 8 assists in the La Liga last season, helped

Real Sociedad

reach a well deserved 5th place on the table and thus earn a Europa League trophy. He was then a prominent feature for Spain in 3 different tournaments (Euro 2020, Summer Olympics and UEFA Nations League) all of which he scored in. so it’s obvious why the 24 year old is considered to be one of the most valuable players in La Liga. It’ll be interesting to see if any big club will be up to pay around his value €70m to take him away from his beloved Real Sociedad.

6. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid, Slovenia)

Jan Oblak has quite possibly been the best goalkeeper in Europe in the past 5 seasons or so. The Slovenian shot-stopper has been an unbreachable wall for Atletico Madrid in the past few seasons and has been a big part of their success, especially last season when they won the La Liga. Suffice it to say, there are few goalkeepers who are coveted as much or even close to Jan Oblak by the elite European clubs but Oblak seems content on staying at

Atletico

and being one of the most valuable La Liga players of 2021.

Making his professional debut in his homeland for Olimpija Ljubljana, Jan Oblak was soon scouted by bigger teams in Europe and ended up at Benfica where after a string of loan moves he impressed enough to earn a move to Atletico Madrid in 2014. He had to adjust to life in Spain in his first season but he became Atletico’s No.1 ever since, enjoying a fruitful 7 seasons until now.

As a goalkeeper there is nothing really that Jan Oblak doesn’t excel at. He has extremely good reflexes. He is a great shot stopper and is great when he comes out. He is also great at distributing the ball making him a dream goal keeper for any team in the world. From the past 7 seasons, 6 of which he spent as the first-choice keeper, Oblak has won the Zamorra trophy, given to the goalkeeper with the least amount of goals conceded, 5 times which paints the picture of the kind of goalkeeper he is, perfectly.

So it’s of no surprise when Oblak is amongst the valuable La Liga players in 2021 since he is definitely one of

La Liga best players in 2021

. Transfermarkt puts his value to somewhere around €70m but you could be quite sure that if he were to leave Atletico in January or the summer, teams have to pay a lot more than his value to get him!

5. Casemiro (Real Madrid, Brazil)

Next up we have Real Madrid’s Casemiro who is considered to be one of

La Liga best players of all time

on the count of him winning everything with Real Madird, multiple times. the fact that his defensive contributions in Los Blancos’ midfield has made him a big part of those achievements gives more credence to that statement. The Brazilian midfielder have been part of Real Madrid set-up for the past 8 years and has been a solid performer for both them and the Brazil national team.

Arriving at Real Madrid from Sao Paulo in 2013 for a minimal fee of €6m Casemiro soon adapted to life at Madrid and was promoted from the reserves team (Castilla) to their senior side for the 2013-14 season. his first full season at Madrid became a memorable one as Real clinched their much coveted 10th Champions League title with the help of Casemiro. He then became a regular starting the following season and became a staple of Real Madrid’s success especially under Zinedine Zidane who very much believed in the Brazilian.

While he is mainly deployed as a defensive midfielder, being a Brazilian means that Casemiro is quite the technical player and has a tendency to join the attack whenever he feels its required. This has led to him scoring 6 or 7 goals each season which brings his tally to 30 goals in 301 appearances for Real Madrid so far.

Casemiro’s contributions has led to Real Madrid winning an unprecedented 4 Champions League titles, 2 La Liga trophies, a Copa del Rey and 3 FIFA Club World Cups. He has also helped Brazil win the 2019 version of Copa America and is currently regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe which makes his €70m by Transfermarkt quite plausible and honestly a bit lower than expected. although that could be due to his age (29) as well. Nonetheless, Casemiro is number 5 on our list of most valuable La Liga players of 2021.

4. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid, Portugal)

The 4th most expensive players of all time that joined Atletico Madrid from Benfica for a transfer fee of €126 million in 2019, is also one of the

valuable La Liga players in 2021

. Joao Felix is without a doubt one of the

most promising youngsters around Europe

which is one of the reasons he is valued so highly by everyone but the Portuguese superstar has failed to deliver ever since he has joined Atletico Madrid. While he has shown sporadic flashes of brilliance, he has mainly disappointed fans and critics alike.

Initially a part of Porto’s youth setup, Joao Felix joined their rivals Benfica later on and it was in Benfica’s reserve team that he impressed enough to be promoted to the first team. His single season of senior football for Benfica resulted in him scoring 20 goals in 43 matches and have every club in Europe after his signature. In the end though, Felix decided to join Atletico for the aforementioned fee which in hindsight may seem like a poor choice on his part due to Atletico’s famously defensive tactics under Diego Simeone.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom since Joao Felix played a big part in Atletico Madrid’s successful La Liga campaign last season by scoring 7 and assisting 5 goals. he may not be one of the best players in La Liga right now but he has the potential of becoming a great player. While he is valued at €70m and that carrying the title of being one of the most valuable La Liga players of 2021 may be a big burden for some, Felix must look to his countrymen like Figo, Ronaldo and Simao who all shed these unimportant burdens and worked to be become of the best in the world!

3. Pedri (Barcelona, Spain)

The busiest player in the world during 2020-21 season wasn’t any seasoned veterans of the game but an 18 year old kid by the name of Pedri who with his undeniable talent provided Barcelona fans with a ray of hope in perhaps their darkest hours in the past decade or so. Heir to a long line of great central midfielders like Xavi, Iniesta, Guardiola and Enrique, Pedri has become an integral part of Barcelona’s squad while he is barely 18 and is only on his second season.

Pedri, whose full name is Pedro González López, first experienced senior football at 

Las Palmas

 during the 2019-20 season while he had only joined the club’s youth setup a year prior. While Las Palmas failed to earn promotion to La Liga during the season, Pedri lost only 2 games and scored 4 in his 36 apeparances for the club, earning a dream move to Barcelona with a nominal fee of €5m which in hindsight might be one of the best deals that Barcelona has done in their history!

Although he is still developing as a player, Pedri seems like a complete midfielder despite his small stature. His technique, passing range and accuracy as well as his vision and tendency to join the attack all make him an exciting player who could grow to become one of La Liga best players of all time.

Last season Pedri was Europe’s busiest player after he played a record 73 games, representing Barcelona 52 times and helping them win the Copa del Rey, then participating in Euro 2020 and going all the way up to the semi finals and as if that was not enough he then assisted Spain in the Olympics all the way o the final and won a Gold medal. His dedication and hard work as well as his talent and age make Pedri one of the most valuable players in the world and he is aptly valued around €80m.

2. Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid, Spain)

At No.2 of our most valuable La Liga players of 2021 we have a player that may surprise a lot of you and that is the former Real Madrid and current Atletico Madrid player, Marcos Llorente. But if anyone take a closer look at his stats and the role that the 26 year old plays for Atletico, they’ll pretty soon understand while he is valued so highly and why it was a big mistake for Real Madrid to not only lose such a talented midfielder, of which they desperately need considering their aging squad, but lose him to their rivals who’ll eventually become La Liga champions because of him.

While initially a defensive midfielder, Marcos Llorente has become well known for being a box to box midfielder, although he can operate at the right hand of midfield or even as a wing back too. Llorente is incredibly quick, strong and possesses great technique and passing ability, which makes him an ideal player for a manager like Diego Simeone. After adjusting to Simeone’s tactics in his first season Llorente became an integral part and the center piece of Simeone’s La Liga winning side of 2020-21 season.

By scoring 12 and assisting 11, Marcos Llorente was one of the standout players of the last season and his 23 goal involvement was a third of what Atletico scored in the league, making him the 2nd most important player behind Suarez who scored 21. Currently valued at €80m, it’s safe to say that Llorente has reached his peak as a midfielder but the question now is that will he keep up his great form or falter?! This season has so far suggested otherwise!

1. Frankie de Jong (Barcelona, Netherlands)

Last on our list of

most valuable La Liga players of 2021

is none other than Barcelona’s golden boy, Frankie de Jong. It is safe to say that de Jong divides opinions amongst Barca fans to say the least. The Dutch midfielder like so many Dutch stars before him made a name for himself by playing for Ajax and was brought to Barcelona to follow in the footsteps of Xavi and Iniesta but he has yet to perform consistently for Barcelona despite him showing flashes of brilliance from time to time.

A product of Ajax’s famous youth academy, de Jong was among one of their greatest generation of young talent alongside the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek who led Ajax to a Europa League final as well as a Champions League semi-final in two successive years. After a bidding war ensued for his signature, de Jong proceeded to join Barcelona for a fee worth €75 million, becoming a Blaugrana player at the start of the 2019-20 season. on top of his expensive price tag, de Jong naturally also became one of the

highest paid players in La Liga

.

It is safe to say that Barcelona fans’ expectations were high from de Jong but a combination of poor management and him adapting to La Liga led to de Jong having an inconsistent career at Barcelona so far. He has been one of their most prominent players and the engine that drives Barcelona, appearing in more than 100 games so far but he is still not there. Although he managed to score 7 goals last season which is quite good for a deep-lying playmaker like him.

No doubt the appointment of Xavi Hernandez, who is one of de Jong’s idols, will fast-track him reaching his top form at Barcelona and justifying his huge salary as well as him being one of the valuable La Liga players in 2021.

 

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source: SportMob

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