Eoin Lyons compiles a group of eleven players, who together would cost close to the fees paid for just three of Real Madrid’s star players.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez cost Real Madrid €265 million altogether. Although this money has undeniably helped Real Madrid strengthen their position as possibly the best team in football, €265 million is a hell of a lot of money to spend on three players.
That’s nearly enough money to build a decent starting eleven isn’t it? Eoin Lyons investigates.
Each player selected in this XI is under the age of 25 to ensure high investment value and all valuations are taken from each player’s current market value on transfermarkt.com, thus giving a minimum figure of course.
GK – Thibaut Courtois
Since Real Madrid’s former transfer target goalkeeper, David De Gea, is now seemingly off limits after he entered into talks over his extending his contract with Manchester United, attention now appears to have turned to the young Chelsea shot-stopper.
He is equally as good a goalkeeper, arguably better in some people’s eyes. At 22 years of age, he is tipped for greatness, and at a current value of €25 million, he is a terrific choice between the posts.
RB – Marquinhos
The young Brazilian defender has become one of the most promising young talents in the top-tier of French football. His flexibility and pace make him a valuable addition to any team.
Despite paying a mammoth fee to acquire his services, Laurent Blanc has not been giving the youngster a lot of playing time for Paris Saint-Germain. A current market value of €25 million for a 20-year-old may seem like a lot, until you see him in action of course.
CB – Kurt Zouma
Again, this is another young defender who is one of the top prospects for the future. The 20-year-old Lyon native currently plays for Chelsea, and although he has not had many appearances for the Blues, he has impressed when given a chance.
In particular, he was chosen ahead of Gary Cahill against Manchester City, and successfully nullified the danger of the imperious Sergio Aguero. This young gun is worth €10 million.
LB – David Alaba
The Bayern Munich defensive whizz-kid is one of the most expensive players in this side, fitting in thanks to some serious bargains around him.
At €38 million, his price tag is hefty but his talent is captivating. He has become a regular for Bayern Munich and is incredibly versatile. If you’re having any doubts about his value, just watch this free-kick he scored recently against Vfb Stuttgart. Tremendous.
RW – Raheem Sterling
He is undeniably Liverpool’s most exciting prospect, and has been a key player since coming up through the youth system.
His work rate is as good as any manager could ask for, and he frequently creates and finishes chances. His current contract saga has put some doubt over his future at Anfield, and it goes without saying that he would fit in at any of Europe’s top clubs. His current market value is €20 million.
CM – Paul Pogba
This player needs no introduction. He is the most expensive player on this list, but it is certainly justifiable. The 21-year-old French midfielder has been nothing short of astonishing for Juventus as of late.
Although he is valued at a huge €50 million, it is probably the best €50 million any team could spend this season.
He is yet another player whose future is unsure as many of the big clubs have come knocking. There is one thing we can be sure of though, whichever club he is at next season will be a very lucky one.
CM – Oscar
The 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder has not made a huge song and dance in becoming the player he is today. He has simply fought long and hard in becoming one of the best young players on the continent.
Across all competitions this season, Oscar has scored seven goals and provided eight assists in 30 appearances for Chelsea.
He showed glimpses of his attacking ability on the world stage at the last World Cup, and although he would not come cheap at a current value of €36 million, it is highly unlikely that he would be a poor investment.
LW – Adnan Januzaj
For whatever reason, many of us seem to have forgotten about this young Belgian winger. His 13 Premier League appearances for Manchester United this season have not been astonishing, but his potential is still evident.
In fact, in just two appearances in the U-21 Premier League for the Red Devils, the 20-year-old winger knocked in four goals. Paris Saint-Germain have shown interest in this player, currently valued at €10 million. Again, it may be a lucrative investment for any of Europe’s top clubs.
RS – Paulo Dybala
One would be forgiven for not hearing of Paulo Dybala. He currently plays for Palermo, who don’t exactly garner a lot of media attention on this side of the continent. However, anyone who has been following the Argentinian will tell you that he may be the single most promising forward in Europe.
The 21-year-old has scored eleven goals this season, and has cemented his position as Palermo’s most important player. Currently valued at €15 millon, he is a bargain. This writer would be incredibly surprised if he wasn’t brought to one of the big clubs this summer.
CF – Harry Kane
It would be unfair to compile a valuable squad of young players without including the man of the moment. Remarkably, the Tottenham Hotspur goal machine is the cheapest in this list, with a current market value of a meagre €15 million.
This figure will inevitably rise though as Real Madrid have openly shown interest in the striker who has already hit the back of the net 23 times this season. Although the 21-year-old has vowed his eternal loyalty to Tottenham Hotspur, nothing is set in stone in the world of football.
LS – Antoine Griezmann
Our final rising star is the 23-year-old French striker who currently plays for Real Madrid’s arch-rivals, Atletico Madrid. This will be a particularly frustrating member of this team for fans of the Galacticos as he scored the final goal in Atletico’s recent 4-1 derby victory.
He does not come cheap however, currently valued at €35 million. It has to be said though, that if he can score against a team which spent €265 million on only three players, he has to be taken seriously. Not forgetting the other 14 goals he has scored this season of course.
The total cost of this side? Just €14 million above the cost of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, this team tallies to €279 million. This may be a bold call, but this writer knows which set of players he would prefer to spend that kind of money on.
Eoin Lyons, Pundit Arena
Featured image By LauraHale (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons