Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

The most valuable youngsters in world football: Jack Wilshere tops England's young players


Manchester United's Danny Welbeck, who revealed yesterday that Manchester City had rejected him as an eight-year-old trialist, has been rated at £11m in a table of the 30 most valuable young players in world football.

City, for their part, can boast only third-placed Mario Balotelli in the table of players aged 21 or under, which is compiled by Futebol Finance. They paid £24m for the Italian, though he is now rated at £25m. Arsenal's Jack Wilshere carries an £18m value in a table headed by Santos' Neymar, with Borussia Dortmund's Mario Götze second; Welbeck is in 20th place.


Welbeck, 21, said of his rejection: "City custard-pied me as a kid. My dad didn't tell me at the time, it was just before Christmas and he didn't want to break any bad news. Straight after Christmas I played in a tournament for my local side, Fletcher Moss, and that's where United picked me up. I went for a trial and have never looked back since. I was always a Red anyway."

Among the 21 most valuable youngsters in world football, six of them are English.

Click here or click 'VIEW GALLERY' to launch Futebol Finance's 21 most valuable youngsters in world football