Mbappe, Haaland, Rashford: What is the most valuable starting XI in European football?

Kylian Mbappe

CIES Football Observatory released their biannual valuation update on Wednesday, revealing that Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is the most valuable player in European football. 

Boasting an astronomical valuation of €165.6m (£149.7m), Rashford soared beyond Erling Haaland and Trent Alexander-Arnold to take top spot. 

It's long been argued that the Premier League is home to the best talent the world has to offer, and the fact 12 of the top 20 most valuable players are plying their trade in England's top flight only adds weight to that argument. 

The construction of an all-star XI to include the most valuable players in Europe based on CIES Observatory's algorithm equally shows the strength of English football. 

A total of seven players from the Premier League feature in an XI boasting a combined valuation of £1.46 billion (£1.32 billion).

The average age of this team is just 22.4. 

Take a look at which players sneak into the mega-money line-up.

Goalkeeper: Ederson (€79.6m)

Manchester City's most deep lying of playmakers is also pretty handy with his gloves and at 27 years old has so many of his best years ahead of him.

Right-back: Alexander-Arnold (€151.6m)

Liverpool's answer to David Beckham, who is worth £136.7m at the current exchange rate, may be enduring a blip this season but he's still one of the best around. 

Given he's just 22 and has a contract running until 2024, his value certainly conforms to the bizarre logic of the football transfer market. 

Centre-back: Ruben Dias (€126.8m)

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Another entry from Man City is their knight in shining armour, the long-awaited answer to a defensive problem that seemingly no amount of money could solve. 

His colossal display in the Carabao Cup semi-final this week will only have boosted his stock. 

Centre-back: Matthijs de Ligt (€104.1m)

Matthijs de Ligt's presence here is a great victory for the globally renowned Ajax academy. 

The towering defender is only 21 but has continued to prove himself as one of the best in Europe since leaving Ajax for Juventus, forming a solid understanding with veteran Leonardo Bonucci in the process.

Left-back: Alphonso Davies (€139.2m)

Bayern Munich's road-running full-back rose to prominence during their successful 2019/20 Champions League campaign and rightly boasts an astronomical value at 20 years of age.

Centre-midfield: Bruno Fernandes (€151.1m)

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Like Dias at Man City, Bruno Fernandes has arrived in the Premier League and solved many of Manchester United's attacking problems. 

United's talisman-in-chief's propensity for goal scoring has helped him to notch 15 already this season and accelerated his value to new heights in the process.

Centre-midfield: Mason Mount (€109.3m)

The first of two inclusions from Chelsea, and the least highly valued player in the XI, is one that is bound to raise some eyebrows.

Mason Mount is a regular for both club and country but, for one reason or another, doesn't quite manage to command universal respect from neutral supporters.

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Alexey Smertin - Chelsea

Can you name this obscure former Premier League player?

Centre-midfield: Kai Havertz (€136m)

Germany's boy wonder has stagnated at Stamford Bridge but remains one of the most valuable players on the continent at just 21 years of age. 

Right-forward: Kylian Mbappe (€149.4m)

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It's a surprise that Kylian Mbappe is not the most highly valued in Europe but the French sensation still earns his place in a frightening front-three.

Left-forward: Marcus Rashford (€165.6m)

When he's not busy campaigning for social justice Marcus Rashford can normally be found weaving beyond defenders and unleashing venomous strikes at goal.

He's an exceptional talent in full flow and has scored 14 goals already this season.

His valuation reflects the size of his potential at 23 years old. 

Centre-forward: Erling Haaland (€152m)

Borussia Dortmund's insatiable goal machine is the most valuable centre-forward in Europe and would be a menacing prospect to defend against in a triumvirate with Rashford and Mbappe. 

Here's the XI in full: 

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