Midfield has arguably been the most important position on the pitch for some time now, never more so than with the new-found emphasis on attacking football.
Few fans will now settle for watching their side grind out a draw or pack men behind the ball and, as such, that has put even more onus on midfielders to become all-rounders, helping out in defence but also performing miraculous acts of creation at the other end of the pitch.
This attacking output also has a massive influence on the value of midfielders on the Football Index* stock exchange, with those creative masters dominating the list of most valuable middle-men right now.
So, just who makes up the top five midfielders on the football stock exchange right now? Let’s take a look.
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5. Bruno Fernandes
Club: Sporting CP
Football Index value: Buy: £4.37 Sell: £3.58
No points for guessing why Bruno Fernandes finds his way into this list. The Portugal international has been the undisputed fulcrum of Sporting’s attack over the past few seasons, letting loose a deluge of goals and assists to grab the attention of Manchester United. The Red Devils are currently locked in a battle to bring Fernandes to Old Trafford before the end of January and as a result, his individual share value has seen a sharp increase to £4.37 at the time of writing.
4. Toni Kroos
Club: Real Madrid
Football Index value: Buy: £4.30 Sell: £3.98
Despite moving past the 30-year-old mark, Toni Kroos continues to exert his influence as one of Europe’s best all-round midfielders and remains a key figure in Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side. The Germany international has two goals and three assists in La Liga this season and ranks third in the entire Spanish top flight for successful passes (1,129) and chances created (41). Interestingly, there have been rumours that Kroos could be used as a makeweight in Real Madrid’s efforts to sign Paul Pogba and should that gain further traction, his current buy price of £4.30 could see further increase.
3. James Maddison
Club: Leicester City
Football Index value: Buy: £4.80 Sell: £4.46
Last season’s most creative Premier League footballer, James Maddison is once again making waves this term with Leicester City, notching six goals and three assists in 23 top-flight appearances so far. His attacking influence is helping drive a fantastic season for the Foxes, with Brendan Rodgers’ men sitting third in the table and well in the hunt for a runner-up spot. Not only that, with a host of clubs linked with his signature — including Man Utd and Tottenham — his value on Football Index has risen to £4.80 and has remained steady for a number of months now. That is only set to increase as speculation regarding his future continues to mount.
2. Kevin De Bruyne
Club: Manchester City
Football Index value: Buy: £5.16 Sell: £5.01
Coming in at second is the Premier League’s ultimate master of wizardry, Kevin De Bruyne. Manchester City may have stuttered in their title defence this season, but that hasn’t stopped the Belgium international having a campaign of epic proportions. No player in the English top-flight has provided more assists (15) or created more chances (85) than De Bruyne — respective lists he leads by quite a distance. How this could have meant so much more to Pep Guardiola’s men had they managed to keep Aymeric Laporte fit.
1. Paul Pogba
Club: Manchester United
Football Index value: Buy: £6.05 Sell: £5.63
The proverbial king of Football Index midfielders and the only player to have really held a candle to Neymar’s value over the past few years, Paul Pogba is the not-so-surprising leader of this list. The France international was one of the few shining lights in a miserable season for Manchester United last season and despite suffering from fitness issues this campaign, has still looked their brightest spark when on the pitch. Still, somehow, he continues to come in for criticism from fans and pundits alike.
Pogba has constantly been linked with Real Madrid over the past 12 months, meaning his buy price has remained consistently high. It currently stands at £6.05 per share and with those transfer rumours seemingly here to stay, now might well be the time to buy in on the 26-year-old.