Ligue 1 had a surprise champion in the 2020-21 season. Let's find out which teams have increased their market value more.
2021 has been a dramatic year with plenty of important highlights for France football, like celebratingKarim Benzema
's return with the 2021 UEFA Nations League trophy. While Paris Saint-Germain possessed one of the world's most expensive squads, Lille claimed the title. The drama in Paris peaked when they dropped in the Champions League semi-final and their sacked manager won the title with Chelsea.
The extraordinary summer transfer had PSG in the spotlight andLionel Messi
somehow gave them the trophy they craved without much effort. The former dominating champion of the Ligue 1, Lyon is missing on the list of
Ligue 1 clubs with biggest market value growth in 2021
. Watch out because there is a chance of surprises ahead.
Ligue 1 is the only league in which its most valuable club has had the most increase in its market value.
2021 was an important year for Olympique de Marseille.Andre Villas-Boas
, the former Chelsea, Tottenham, Porto, and Zenit manager, came to Marseille as head coach in May 2019. Marseille finished second after the season ended early due to the pandemic, and since 2013-14, they have qualified for the 2020-21 champions league. From the middle of December 2020, a string of losses began. There were some conflicts with the players and sporting director Pablo Longoria and President Jacques-Henri Eyraud weren’t supporting Villas-Boas. In the winter transfer window of 2021,Arkadiusz Milik
joined Marseille on loan from Napoli.
On 2 February 2021, Villas-Boas announced that he had resigned from his post due to dissatisfaction with the club's recruitment policy, especially with them signing Celtic player Olivier Ntcham on loan against his wishes. This was three days after Marseille fans riot at the club’s training camp and the postponement of a league match against Rennes. Marseille board sacked Villas-Boas and on the same day, Pablo Longoria became the club’s president, because of fans' dissatisfaction with Jacques-Henri Eyraud.
took over when Marseille was in 7th place. In 13 matches until the end of the season, they lost three games and won seven times. They finished in fifth place and qualified for Europa League. Their top goal scorer was Milik with nine goals. One of the most important reasons for Marseille being on our list of
Ligue 1 clubs with biggest market value increase in 2021
, is their transfers in summer 2021. Four out of the club’s five most expensive players have joined in the summer.William Saliba
came from Arsenal on loan. Saliba has had a six million growth in his market value over the past year.
was another loan in the summer but from Roma. with 18 million euros, he’s the fourth most expensive player in Marseille. Pau Lopez also came from Roma on loan. One of their signings was Pol Lirola from Fiorentina with a fee of 6.5 million. In the current season, with only three losses and five draws in 18 matches, they are in second place after PSG.
Brest ended the previous season in 17th place with eleven wins and eight draws. They escaped relegation with 41 points. Their manager Olivier Dall'Oglio was sacked in the 2021 summer transfer window and Michel Der Zakarian became their new head coach for the current season. They are in the middle of the table, playing 18 games resulting in six victories and six draws.
Brest had a rather busy transfer window in the summer. One of their notable transfers was Inter Milan’s defensive midfielder,Lucien Agoume
, on loan, who couldn’t get much playtime in Serie A. Since joining Brest, he has had a one million euros raise in his market value.
In the previous season, their top goalscorer wasRomain Faivre
. The 23 year old midfielder had a seven million increase in his market value since the beginning of 2021. He has the highest market value in Brest with 15 million euros, scoring 7 goals and providing five assists in the current season.Franck Honorat
, Brest’s right winger, also had a three million growth in his market value. In the current season, he scored five goals and provided four assists. With nine million euros, he is the second most valuable player at the club.
In 110 years since the club’s foundation, it is the first time they are in Ligue 1. In the 2020-21 season, they finished Ligue 2 in second place with the help of their head coach Pascal Gastien. The former midfielder was the head coach for the reserved team of Clermont and in 2017 became the first team manager.
Among the 2020-21 ten top scorers of Ligue 2, there are three players from Clermont Foot.Mohamed Bayo
, with 22 goals, was Ligue 2's top scorer. He is Clermont's most valuable player with a market value of 10 million euros. Since the beginning of 2021, he had an 8.5 million increase in his market value. In the current season, Bayo scored nine goals and provided two assists in 17 appearances.
Another one of their goal scorers in Ligue 2, wasJim Allevinah
, who is their second most expensive player with a market value of 2.5 million euros. He andJodel Dossou
helped the club to get promotion to Ligue 1 with twelve goals each. The main reason for Clermont Foot being on the list of
increased Ligue 1 clubs' market value in 2021 is their promotion
. In Ligue 1, after eighteen matches, they are in the 16th position in the league table with 17 points, having won just four games and five draws.
Metz finished last season in 10th place in their second consecutive season in Ligue 1. In 2018, Metz was relegated to Ligue 2. In May 2018, the club hired Frederic Antonetti as head coach. He secured promotion to Ligue 1 in his first season but handed his role to Vincent Hognon for the 2019-2020 season due to personal reasons. Antonetti again became their head coach in October 2020 till now.
They are facing a crisis in the current season in 18th place after playing 18 games and winning only three games. Metz hiredPape Sarr
from Tottenham on loan in the 2021 summer transfer window and he is now their most valuable player with 20 million euros market value. In the previous season, the club’s top scorer wasIbrahima Niane
with six goals, who is their third most valuable player with 7.5 million euros market value.
Fourteen out of 28 Metz players had a decrease in their market value, probably due to their lack of performance in the 2021-22 season. It seems that the return of their head coach Antonetti, who was in Lille before coming to Metz and managed to win promotion to the French top flight with FC Metz, isn’t helping.
Lille had one of their most successful years in the previous season. Christopher Galtier, the former Saint-Etienne manager, replacedBielsa
in 2017. His first season was very difficult, avoiding relegation in the second leg against Toulouse. But in 2018-19, they qualified for the Champions League after seven years, by finishing second in Ligue 1. In 2019-20, they finished fourth with only one point behind Rennes, who qualified for the Champions League group stage.
After a change of club president, and after seven games in the previous season, Lille made it to the top of the table. Two draws and a loss made them second, but again after a win over Monaco in December, they made it to the top and stayed for three weeks. In the winter transfer window, Lille didn’t have any players coming in. Lille started 2021 with a loss, but after three easy wins they went to the top. Until the end of the season, they maintained their not losing streak except a match against Nimes.
After 10 years, they became France champions and it is the main reason for Lille being on the list of Ligue 1 clubs with biggest market value growth in 2021. They had a quiet summer transfer window with only two signings and a loan. But Galtier departed for Nice and Jocelyn Gourvennec took over.Jonathan David
is one of their top goalscorers who had a rise of about 20 million euros in his market value and is their most expensive player. In the current season, they are in the middle of the table with only six wins in eighteen matches.
Troyes was the champion of the 2020-21 Ligue 2 and is now back in French football top flight since 2017. After three years of retirement from football, Laurent Batlles became assistant to the head coach at Saint-Etienne. After a year became their reserved coach for three years. In 2019, Batlles became first team head coach at Troyes for the first time. In his first season, Troyes ended up in fourth place on the league table. With just two points behind the second team, Troyers remained in Ligue 2.
But in Batlles' second season, it was different. With 23 wins, eight draws, and seven losses, they became Ligue 2 champions and were promoted to Ligue 1. Batlles extended his contract with the club, having won his first trophy as a head coach with a win percentage of 62. Troyes had a very busy summer transfer window, getting the club ready for French football's top flight. Eight out of their ten most valuable players were transferred to the club in summer 2021.
is their most expensive player with five million euros market value who was transferred from Nimes Olympique. Four players from Manchester City were loaned to Troyes. Issa Kabore, Philip Sandler, andErik Palmer-Brown
are Man City's defenders, andPatrick Roberts
is the right winger and they have increased Troyes market value by eight million euros.
Following a five game losing streak and the departure ofPatrick Vieira
in December 2020, his assistant, Adrian Ursea became Nice's head coach for the rest of the season in 2021. Nice didn’t have any transfers in the winter window and finished in 9th place. Their top scorer in the previous season wasAmine Gouiri,
who scored 12 goals in Ligue 1 and four in Europa League.
In the summer transfer window of 2021, Nice hired Christophe Galtier, the former defender and Lille head coach. Galtier hired Barcelona’s center back,Jean-Clair Todibo
for a fee of 8.5 million euros. He is now the third expensive player at the club and because of more playtime in Nice, his market value has increased by six million. Roma’s left winger, Justin Kluivert is in Nice on loan.
Andy Delort came from Montpellier for a fee of 10 million euros. He is now their second best goal scorer with seven goals and two assists after Amine Gouiri with eight goals and four assists. Gouiri’s market value had risen by about 20 million euros due to his great performance. Their goalkeeper,Walter Benitez
had kept nine clean sheets the previous season. His market value has increased by about two million, being in the 7th place of Ligue 1 clean sheets in the previous season.
One of the reasons RC Lens is on our list of
Ligue 1 clubs with biggest market value increase in 2021
is that they had a busy summer transfer window. Lens finished last season in 7th place and now is in sixth place with eight wins and four draws. They have won Monaco, Lille, and Marseille and got one point from Paris Saint-Germain in the current season. The 26 year old central midfielder,Seko Fofana
is the club’s most valuable player with 18 million euros, which has had a seven million rise in his market value since the beginning of 2021. He has scored five goals in the current season and one of them was against PSG.
In the summer,Arnaud Kalimuendo
joined Lens on loan from PSG and is now the second most expensive player in the squad. He also has scored four goals in the current season, and his market value has grown by about two million euros. The French midfielderJonathan Clauss
with seven assists and two goals in the current season, is the club’s third most expensive player and has had an eight million euros growth in his market value since January 2021. Also, Cheick Doucoure had a five million growth in market value as a defensive midfielder and one of Lens’ most valuable players.
As one of the Ligue 1 clubs with biggest market value increase in 2021, Monaco had a ten million euros increase in its market value. In the 2020-21 season, Monaco finished third after Lille and PSG. After 18 games they secured fourth place, and from the 30th weak of the season, they were in third place. Their head coachNiko Kovac
was praised because of winning both matches against PSG. But in the current season, they are in 8th place after 18 matches with seven wins, five draws, and six losses.
In the summer transfer window of 2021, Monaco hired the 20 year old center forward,Myron Boadu
from AZ Alkmaar for a fee of 17 million euros. They also got two midfielders,Jean Lucas
and Ismail Jacobs from Lyon and FC Koln, respectively. The club's most valuable player is Aurelien Tchouameni. The central midfielder had a 20 million euros increase in his market value.
Their Brazilian left back, Caio Henrique also had an increase of 10 million euros from the beginning of 2021. After Caio, Guillermo Maripan had a seven million euros growth in his market value. Monaco’s top goalscorer in 2021 has beenWissam Ben Yedder
. The 31 year old center forward, scored 20 goals in the previous season, and nine goals in the current Ligue 1. But probably due to his age, his market value has decreased by about 12 million.
As the second most valuable club worldwide, it is not a surprise that PSG is on our list of Ligue 1 clubs with biggest market value increase in 2021. Since 2011, when Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Qatar Sports Investment took over the club, it has changed dramatically. Singing the most expensive player ever (Neymar) and the most expensive teenager as well as being the second most expensive player (Mbappe) could not be done by a club with regular investors.
The previous season was the first season withoutEdinson Cavani
and Thiago Silva in years. PSG started with two consecutive losses against Lens and Marseille. Icardi, Neymar, Mbappé, Navas, Marquinhos, Paredes, andÁngel Di María
had been tested positive for COVID-19. Then, after eight wins, they had two draws and two losses in seven matches until the January transfer window of 2021. They were in third place after Lyon and Lille and it seemed that Thomas Tuchel was having problems with the club’s hierarchy.
Tuchel was sacked despite his good performance in the Champions League and placing PSG at the top of their group. In an interview, he said that he felt "[more like] a politician in sport" than a coach. He also had some criticism on transferring decisions, which was condemned by the club’s sporting director Leonardo, who said Tuchel "[must] respect the people above [him]". It's been said that their main disagreement was over the defensive midfielder’s transfer, Danilo Pereira, because Tuchel requested a central midfielder.
Tuchel went to Chelsea after making history in Ligue 1 with a win percentage of 75.6.Mauricio Pochettino
took over for him on January 2, 2021. He was sacked from Tottenham with an extremely disappointing result in November 2019. After a quiet winter transfer window, Pochettino started with a draw against Saint-Etienne but until the end of the season, they won 15 out of 20 matches. They finished the season in second place with only one point behind Lille. Since 2012-13, it was the second season PSG wasn’t the Ligue 1 champion.
The 2021 summer transfer window was the craziest, especially considering PSG's transfer activities. The Euro 2020 goalkeeper champion Gianluigi Donnarumma came to PSG on a free transfer from AC Milan. At the time, his market value increased by five million, but it hasn’t changed since from 65 million euros. Another crazy free transfer was Liverpool midfielderGeorginio Wijnaldum
The first big signing which wasn’t free wasAchraf Hakimi
. He joined from Inter Milan for a transfer fee of 60 million euros. From La Liga’s two biggest clubs,Sergio Ramos
and Lionel Messi joined PSG both on free transfers. Although both had a decrease in their market value, together has increased PSG’s market value by almost 70 million euros. In the current season, they are in the first place, with a great distance from the second team, Marseille.
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