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Ranking the Real Madrid Players Whose Transfer Values Have Moved Most in 2017

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2017

Ranking the Real Madrid Players Whose Transfer Values Have Moved Most in 2017

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    VI-Images/Getty Images

    It's the turn of Real Madrid to feature in the latest in our series of assessing which squads have had big movements of the valuations of their players—in both directions.

    Los Blancos are aiming for a Europe and La Liga double this season, but Zinedine Zidane's men have huge capacity for fluctuations in their market values, thanks largely to being big-name players worth an awful lot to begin with, and also for the intense competition for places they have to deal with.

    We've assessed every player in the senior squad and calculated what they might be worth now compared to almost a year ago—here are the five biggest risers and five most dramatic fallers for Real Madrid.

Biggest Fallers: 5. Raphael Varane (-£5 Million)

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    CRISTINA QUICLER/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £20 million

    Estimated difference: £5 million

    He's still a defender who has the capacity to get to near the top of the game, but constant injuries and runs of poor form have harmed Raphael Varane's stock and his attempts to become an irreplaceable member of Real Madrid's back line.

    In fact, there's a case to suggest he has been the worst of the four central defenders in the squad this season, taking into account their performances when available—each has suffered absences in turn.

    Varane would still cost a hefty amount on the market, but soon to turn 24, he still hasn't made an indelible mark on the side and will have seen a slip in his value as a result.

Biggest Fallers: 4. Pepe (-£10 Million)

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    Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £0

    Estimated difference: £10 million

    On the other hand, there's nothing Pepe can do about his own valuation dipping.

    Now aged 34, he ended last term as Real Madrid's best defender and a Euro 2016 winner with Portugal; regardless of his age, he still would have been seen as a £10 million player as a result. Now, though, injuries and not being first choice for most of this term would have seen that stock tumble somewhat—but his contract is the real issue.

    The veteran's deal is up at the end of this season, and he'll be able to move for free unless Real can convince him to stay another year.

Biggest Fallers: 3. Keylor Navas (-£15 Million)

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    Sonia Canada/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £15 million

    Estimated difference: £15 million

    Hot on the heels of his best La Liga campaign, Keylor Navas has produced plenty of uncertain, subpar displays this term.

    He would have comfortably been seen as a £30 million stopper a year ago, challenging Jan Oblak for the best goalkeeper in Spain's top flight, but after beginning 2016/17 with an injury, he has struggled to recapture anything like his best form.

    There have been a handful of errors of judgement, none more obvious and prevalent in the minds of those who make transfer-market decisions than his terrible own goal against Real Betis at the weekend, spilling the ball over the line after initially saving a shot.

Biggest Fallers: 2. Karim Benzema (-£20 Million)

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    Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £30 million

    Estimated difference: £20 million

    Year after year, one close-season after another, column inches regarding Karim Benzema's impending transfer—often to Arsenal or Manchester United—fill papers and websites, usually ranking him around the £50 million bracket after plundering 30 or more goals that year.

    Not this summer.

    Benzema has struggled for form, looked incredibly lacking in his link-up play and sharpness in front of goal, and has a strike rate of one goal every three games in La Liga this term—well below his usual level.

    He's still considered one of the primary forwards around, but approaching 30 and with his worst campaign in years behind him, that £50 million valuation looks to have been sliced considerably.

Biggest Fallers: 1. Isco (-£25 Million)

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £25 million

    Estimated difference: £25 million

    How to judge Spanish playmaker Isco?

    He's not a regular first-XI player, yet has starred when given the chance of late. At times he's lazy, his attitude is appalling and he doesn't quite fit into the Real Madrid system, yet on other occasions, he can make the team play well, create chances where none are otherwise forthcoming and has genius in his boots that is too sporadically showcased.

    Above and beyond all that, he's also down to the final year of his contract.

    Close to a year ago, AS reported Real Madrid being happy to sell and valuing him somewhere between Paul Pogba (£100 million) and Leroy Sane (£42 million), so a £50 million price tag wouldn't have been unrealistic.

    He's still a big talent, and we've seen players with a year left on their contract go for £20 million more than once, but even keeping Isco above that level, it's still half of what Los Blancos might have got for him a year ago. Then again, sign him to a new deal and perhaps his value rockets back up to £55 million or more.

Biggest Risers: 5. Nacho (+£6 Million)

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    Power Sport Images/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £15 million

    Estimated difference: £6 million

    It's far from all downhill, though. Pepe and Varane's misfortunes have meant an opportunity for Nacho to stake his claim, and he has been superb for Zidane's side.

    The Spain international was close to a move to AS Roma last season for less than £10 million, per La Gazzetta (h/t AS), but he'd easily be rated at £15 million or more now after his most productive—and most impressive—season with the club.

    Covering left-back as well as centre-back, Nacho deserves his run in the side and should also prolong his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu as a result.

Biggest Risers: 4. Alvaro Morata (+£15 Million)

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    FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £40 million

    Estimated difference: £17 million

    Alvaro Morata is a complicated case, but we'll take his original value as the fee Real Madrid paid for him from Juventus: around £23 million.

    However, there were immediate rumours that he could be sold for profit for around £50 million, per the Express. That didn't transpire, with Morata playing a role for Zidane this term—but not being a first-XI player means he won't have quite hit that £50 million ceiling by now.

    The ability is clear for all to see; Morata has been better than Benzema as an all-round striker this term, and he has a far better striker rate (a goal every 109 mins to 151 for the French forward).

    We'll rate him at £40 million as a result—still a hefty increase...but there's scope for far more to come.

Biggest Risers: 3. Mateo Kovacic (+£20 Million)

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £40 million

    Estimated difference: £20 million

    At the end of 2015/16, Mateo Kovacic wasn't getting a look-in for Real Madrid other than when Zidane wanted to rest his real starters for the assault on the Champions League.

    He had struggled to find a role in his first year in Madrid, and there were summer rumours from Bild (via Tribal Football) of a move to Borussia Dortmund for around £20 million. Kovacic didn't want to move, Real didn't want to sell, and it was a great decision by both parties.

    The Croatian has been excellent this year, filling in for each of the three regular starters in turn and producing some standout performances, even if Zidane continues to rotate back to his usual XI when everyone is fit.

    Kovacic's value has doubled, and his game time has increased dramatically.

Biggest Risers: 2. Marco Asensio (+£25 Million)

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £40 million

    Estimated difference: £25 million

    Featuring at 13th in B/R writer Sam Tighe's list of Europe-based talents whose values have increased the most this season, Marco Asensio's progression has been impressive.

    From being a likely loaned-out player at the start of the season to playing a key role as starter back in August and September, everyone now knows who Asensio is and just why Madrid were so keen to keep him this term.

    The minutes have dried up a little, and his impact mainly comes off the bench now, but Asensio's quality has already been on show, and he has lots to offer next season and beyond.

Biggest Risers: 1. Casemiro (+£35 Million)

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    Trond Tandberg/Getty Images

    Estimated current value: £60 million

    Estimated difference: £35 million

    For a long time, Real Madrid have been all about the BBC attack, but there's a new trio of near-untouchable starters: the midfield of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro.

    The two former names have always been guaranteed on the teamsheet, but not the Brazilian enforcer who sits behind them.

    At the end of last season, Casemiro had shown his value to the team and won a place, but only a few months prior, he was barely involved, seen as a component the team didn't need to rely on despite his defensive qualities filling a gap in the side that few others could offer. OK Diario (in Spanish) reported Porto still having the option to sign him for less than £20 million last summer, other teams at a higher price, so even suggesting his market value stood at £25 million would cover it.

    Now?

    It's impossible to think of this Real Madrid side being successful without him. He's easily as important to Madrid as the other two in midfield, quite possibly the single most important component of the side in terms of balance and structure, and his value in the transfer market will have sky-rocketed accordingly.

    £60 million, Kroos or Modric territory, and Real Madrid couldn't countenance selling Casemiro in any case.

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