Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez: Whose transfer value has dropped the most in 2020?

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The 2020/21 season promises to be a year like no other.

The COVID-19 pandemic played havoc with the end of the previous campaign and now football fans have the prospect of a bonkers fixture schedule and goals galore to sink their teeth into.

However, one thing that changed far less than expected despite all the chopping and changing was how the big Champions League sides spent their money in the summer transfer window.

A new footballing world

Sure, there weren't any Neymar-esque fees floating around the market and Real Madrid didn't spend a single penny, but plenty of pursestrings were still loosened ahead of the October deadline.

You only have to look at Chelsea's splurge on players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech to see that certain European juggernauts still have plenty in their bank accounts.

Nevertheless, expectations around transfer fees have certainly had to change with Ben Chilwell's move being just one example of a selling club accepting a smaller fee due to the pandemic.

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Changing transfer values

As a result, there has never been a more interesting time to dip into the fascinating statistics available on Transfermarkt, which brilliantly highlight the transfer values of the world's best players.

Here at GIVEMESPORT, we've already looked at the players whose value has increased the most in 2020, but now we're turning in the opposite direction for a more pessimistic outlook.

We couldn't resist calculating whose value has taken the biggest plunge after it was revealed that Lionel Messi dipped below €100 million and Eden Hazard suffered a €90 million nosedive.

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Biggest transfer value declines

So, without further ado, check out the 21 players who have suffered the most substantial hit to their transfer value over the course of the craziest year in football history.

21. Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

Decline: £19.8 million

Current value: £16.2 million

The writing had been on the wall for a long time in terms of Suarez's decline at Barcelona which, combined with his advancing age and the pandemic, makes this dip more than understandable.

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20. Allan (Everton)

Decline: £19.8 million

Current value: £25.2 million

Again, pretty understandable when you consider Allan's form plateauing at Napoli, but you can expect the Brazilian to see his stock rising again if he continues his strong start in Everton colours.

19. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Decline: £19.8 million

Current value: £43.2 million

Like Allan, Lacazette's displays last season do a lot of the legwork explaining this decline, but the Frenchman seems to be stopping the rot with three goals in just four games so far in 2020/21.

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18. Dani Parejo (Valencia)

Decline: £22.5 million

Current value: £9 million

Sheesh... although a £22.5 million hit is by no means the most shocking on the list, it is when you consider how low it's driven Parejo's price tag despite scoring 10 goals for Valencia last season.

17. Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich)

Decline: £22.5 million

Current value: £40.5 million

Injuries really put a dampener on Hernandez's first season in Bavaria, hence the hefty price drop, but pocketing Cristiano Ronaldo for France last night proves that he's still a world-class defender. 

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16. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

Decline: £22.5 million

Current value: £45 million

Another player, another tale of injuries. Dembele has never really been able to kick on at Barcelona with niggles striking left, right and centre, limiting him to merely nine appearances during 2019/20.

15. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)

Decline: £23.4 million

Current value: £57.6 million

Truth be told, Alli has been on the slide ever since his majestic 2016/17 campaign and his game-time being snipped so dramatically this season indicates that Jose Mourinho is far from impressed.

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14. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £18 million

Perhaps the only surprise is that more Barcelona players aren't on the list after their 8-2 Bayern Munich humiliation, but avoiding that game hasn't saved Roberto from seeing his value plummet.

13. John Stones (Manchester City)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £27 million

Woof. Stones might 'only' be 13th on the list, but make no mistake that having your transfer value halved is not good news and proves the biggest inditement yet of his fatiguing form at the Etihad Stadium.

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12. Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £54 million

Considering how hard Eriksen fought to cut his Tottenham spell short, it's pretty awkward to see him struggling so much at Inter Milan with the Dane resenting Antonio Conte's decisions to bench him.

11. Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £63 million

Again, injuries have played a massive role here with Sane being robbed of a swan-song season with City and already having to spend time on the treatment table after a strong start with Bayern.

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10. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £108 million

Lest we forget that there's a deadly pandemic going on right now and that means players who are still doing the business on the pitch, like Mane, are also receiving a bite-mark in their transfer value.

9. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £108 million

It's not quite as clearcut with Kane after injury struck last season, but there's no denying that he's still one of the world's best number nines and already has seven Premier League assists in 2020/21.

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8. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £108 million

Another example where you can probably pin the blame on COVID-19 because Salah has arguably been Liverpool's best player so far this season with a Leeds United hat-trick and Aston Villa brace.

7. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Decline: £27 million

Current value: £108 million

You what??? I think the only explanation here is that De Bruyne drove his value so, so high as the Premier League's best player that the pandemic could do nothing but push it down a few notches.

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6. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)

Decline: £28.8 million

Current value: £25.2 million

We all knew this one was coming. It's really been sad to see Arrizabalaga's decline from the world-record goalkeeper to a player with one of the most save percentages in Premier League history.

5. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Decline: £28.8 million

Current value: £115.2 million

Sterling pulled things around near the back end of 2019/20 - terrible miss against Lyon aside - after opening 2020 with a goal drought, so this decline seems harsh on the world's best goalscoring winger.

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4. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

Decline: £28.8 million

Current value: £115.2 million

Injuries and controversy have continued to saddle Neymar's time with PSG, much to the chagrin of his transfer value, though you can't dispute his superb displays en route to the 2020 Champions League final.

3. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)

Decline: £36 million

Current value: £72 million

The jury is still out on Griezmann's mega-money move to Camp Nou, but I think we can all agree that his debut season left us shrugging our shoulders with just 15 goals in 48 appearances.

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2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Decline: £36 million

Current value: £90 million

With more than 20 goals and 20 assists for Barca last season, I'm keeping everything crossed that this sizeable dip is down to Messi's age and his age alone because he's still in Ballon d'Or-competing form.

1. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

Decline: £54 million

Current value: £54 million

To say things have gone terribly for Hazard in the Spanish capital would be a huge understatement, scoring just once in 22 appearances and racking up no less than seven injuries in just 13 months.

The proof will be in the pudding when Hazard is able to play regularly for Zinedine Zidane's men, but his transfer value splintering in half is indicative of his exit from the world's best player conversation.

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GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

Wowsers, that's no shortage of top, top players, is there?

It goes without saying that some of the declines should be taken with a pinch of salt because the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on a number of players regardless of their form on the pitch.

Well, you'd certainly hope that's the case for players like De Bruyne, Salah, Kane and Mane who have continued to carry their world-class form through the year's trials and tribulations. 

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But that doesn't mean that sporting form hasn't contributed with the Eriksen, Kepa and Griezmann seeing the money slip away after bitterly disappointing 2019/20 campaigns.

However, it goes without saying that Hazard has displayed the most worrying trend of all with his transfer value literally halving over the last 10 months.

It's too early to call his move to the Bernabeu a complete disaster, but as the injuries arrive as frequently as games without a goal, you have to wonder whether he's dreaming of a Chelsea reunion.

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Sounds crazy, I know, but at least Chelsea would have to pay a lot less than Real did...

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