The most valuable XI of footballers with less than 300 minutes of game time

Crystal Palace v Manchester City - Premier League

The money sloshing around football in 2019 is beyond comprehension.

You only need to look at Manchester City and how a £60 million full-back doesn't even make their starting XI to see how much transfer fees have shot through the ceiling in recent years.

It seems all it took was Paris Saint-Germain to have the audacity to pay £198 million for Neymar to send the whole transfer market into dizzying levels of inflation.

As a result, even players who are collecting dust on the substitutes bench are now worth the kind of fees that would have broken club and league records just a decade ago.

And that's something that Transfermarkt touched upon this week as they used their unique system of calculating every player's 'fair' transfer value in the current market.

Most valuable substitutes

They constructed an XI of the most valuable players who have barely played for their club this season, despite largely being fit and available for selection.

With over £253 million of talent from across top European clubs getting the nod, it makes for interesting reading and a real eye-opener for football finances. Check out the team below:

GK - Neto (Barcelona)

Transfer value: £16.2 million

Minutes this season: 0

Sure, moving to Barcelona as Marc-Andre ter Stegen's deputy wasn't exactly going to guarantee much time on the pitch, but Neto must have expected at least one minute before November.

Barca's German number one has played every second in La Liga and the Champions League, while Neto will have to keep his fingers crossed for a call up in the Copa del Rey.


RB - Emre Can (Juventus)

Transfer value: £29.7 million

Minutes this season: 150

Yeh, how's that Liverpool exit working out for you? Can must have wished he never left Anfield because he's faded into the obscurity of a Juventus team absolutely swimming in midfield talent.

Sure, the German can be deployed as a defender as Transfermarkt have chosen here, but not even two games' worth of time on the pitch shows that position is no kinder in Turin.

Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup

CB - Merih Demiral (Juventus)

Transfer value: £13.5 million

Minutes this season: 90

It doesn't matter if you boast a decent transfer valuation, having to compete with Giorgio Chiellini, Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci is a lost cause before you've even started.

Unless the 21-year-old fancies outlasting some of the Juve veterans, he might want to follow up on some of the transfer rumours linking him to the Premier League.

Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup

CB - Daniele Rugani (Juventus)

Transfer value: £19.8 million

Minutes this season: 180

Christ, life at Juventus is brutal. Rugani must have wished he moved to Arsenal in the summer because his handsome transfer valuation is going to waste on the bench.

Barring an absolute miracle, the Italian is either going to have to digest his rotational role at the Allianz Stadium or look for pastures new as soon as possible.


LB - Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund)

Transfer value: £25.2 million

Minutes this season: 117

Hurrah, a defender that isn't drowning up to their necks in Turin, but things haven't been much better in Germany for Zagadou as he waits behind Mats Hummels in the Dortmund pecking order.

That being said, having such a hefty transfer valuation at 20 years old tells you everything about a defender who deserves far more than twiddling his thumbs on the bench.


RM - Ante Rebic (AC Milan)

Transfer value: £36.0 million

Minutes this season: 132

Hindsight is a beautiful thing and Rebic must be ruing his move to San Siro more and more with each day, making the list as the most valuable player of them all.

AC Milan are stewing in the bottom half of Serie A this season, while the World Cup runner-up finds himself behind Krzysztof Piatek, Suso and Rafael Leao in the queue for game time.

Juventus v AC Milan - Serie A

CM - Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Transfer value: £27.0 million

Minutes this season: 293

While it's really easy to get frustrated with the Foden situation, we need to remember that he's still only 19 years old and competing against the most stacked midfield in world football.

We should be thankful that Foden has featured more than any other player in this team and just keep our fingers crossed that Pep Guardiola slowly cranks up the game time in coming weeks.


CM - Carles Alena (Barcelona)

Transfer value: £27.0 million

Minutes this season: 45

One of Barcelona fans' biggest complaints with Ernesto Valverde is his handling of players from La Masia and just one half of football makes for pitiful reading for Alena.

The Spaniard looked to have experienced a breakthrough campaign - hence his transfer value - with 27 appearances, but he hasn't even been afforded the chance to suffer second-season-syndrome.


LM - Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig)

Transfer value: £18.0 million

Minutes this season: 200

The more time that passes, the more that six-month loan spell at RB Leipzig looks completely anomalous for Lookman.

The Englishman couldn't capitalise on his chance at Everton last season, can't replicate his 2018 form having moved to Germany permanently and can expect his valuation to toboggan severely.


ST - Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)

Transfer value: £22.5 million

Minutes this season: 253

Considering how few minutes Batshuayi has been afforded this season, the Belgian striker has grabbed every one of them with both hands and wracked up a pretty solid five goals.

Batshuayi has established himself as the outright deputy to Tammy Abraham and is one of few players in this team who could maintain his valuation despite the lack of starts.


ST - Mariano Diaz (Real Madrid)

Transfer value: £18.0 million

Minutes this season: 0

How on earth did this bloke earn the number 7 shirt? Frankly, Diaz should never have returned to Real and he only scored four goals when he actually had the chance to impress last season.

Now, Diaz can safely start plotting his next move because the fact Zinedine Zidane hasn't even subbed him on for a stoppage time cameo tells you everything you need to know.


Talent on the bench

For context, Foden is the player in the team with the most game time this season and his pitiful 293 minutes of action barely translates to three full games. Lest we forget it's already November.

That's not to mention the slew of Juventus defenders who are behind so many talented players that they might as well pack their bags before they get a regular run in the side.

And the less said about Real Madrid's former number 7 not getting a single second on the pitch, the better.

It just goes to show that even going for big money and boasting a high transfer value guarantees you absolutely nothing when the biggest clubs are waving dollar bills about.

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