THIS week, Pep Guardiola said in the media he foresees that an English club could win the UEFA Champions League in 2017-18.
The last team from the Premier to win the competition was Chelsea in 2012 and since then, English clubs’ influence on the UCL has waned. But with the huge broadcasting revenues, it is becoming increasingly clear that the multi-cultural Premier League teams are improving, as evidenced by the performances of Tottenham Hotspur and Guardiola’s Manchester City.
According to a new study by the CIES Football Observatory, English clubs are sitting on very lucrative squads, with five of the top 10 clubs by value coming from England.
Manchester City (€1.19bn), Tottenham (€1.17bn), Chelsea (€1.04bn) and Barcelona (€1.13bn) are the only clubs with a squad value of more than a billion euros.
Manchester City top the list with Kevin de Bruyne rated as their most valuable player at €146m. But CIES points out that three other members of the City squad could yield their club transfer income of €100m-plus: Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.
Tottenham’s position may surprise some people, but this reflects the healthy demographic among the club’s squad. Harry Kane, for example, is rated as being worth €186m, some €70m higher than the value applied in June 2016 by CIES.
Barcelona have the third most expensive squad, with Luis Suarez considered to be their most valuable asset at €134m.
Chelsea, who have the fourth most coveted squad according to the study, may also look at some of their disposals as being bad decisions – De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United and Mohammed Salah of Liverpool have a combined value of €411m.
Whether English clubs can turn their material wealth into success on the European stage remains to be seen, but there is a definite trend that points to an improvement in the quality of player at the major Premier League clubs.
To see the CIES site, click here