'Raheem Sterling most valuable U21 in Europe'

Raheem Sterling

Damian Spellman

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is the most valuable young player in Europe, according to a new study.

The 20-year-old England international, whose future at Anfield has been the topic of intense speculation this summer, has been given a weighted value of £35.05million (E49.3million) by the Soccerex 20 U-21 report. Sterling tops a list of the 20 most highly rated players aged under 21 on the continent identified by the study.

He is some way ahead of Paris St Germain's Brazilian defender Marquinhos in second place at £27.84million (E39.77million) with Manchester United new boy Memphis Depay in third at £23.8million (E33.64million).

Soccerex chief executive Duncan Revie said: "This report demonstrates the hugely talented pool of players under the age of 21 available to our European clubs.

"Ultimately, the lifeblood of any successful club is the players they are able to develop and nurture and the report identifies the premium that clubs place on this kind of exciting young talent."

The Football Value Index, compiled by sports agency Prime Time Sport, takes into account the player's age, position, current club, contract length, market value perception, international caps, minutes played, goals, injuries and technical quality.

Seventeen of the 20 players were born and bred in Europe with Marquinhos, Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez and Benfica's Brazilian midfielder Anderson Talisca the only exceptions.