Market values MLS: Daryl Dike in top 5 – Gonzalo Higuaín drops significantly

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Complete update 

With a third of the 2021 season played and the Gold Cup just around the corner, Transfermarkt has updated the market values of 749 Major League Soccer players. Among the biggest winners were American strikers Daryl Dike (Orlando City) and Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes). Canadian Tajon Buchanan from New England Revolution also saw a big jump in his market value. Top stars Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi (both Los Angeles FC), and Gonzalo Higuaín (Inter Miami CF) have seen their market value drop. 

MLS - All new market values at a glance

Young US strikers, in particular, seem to be the biggest winners of the recent market value update. First and foremost, Dike. On loan at Barnsley (nine goals in 19 Championship games) for most of the season, Dike has now returned to Orlando City, scoring two goals in four games. “Dike is on the path of becoming a US superstar,” Transfermarkt Junior Area Manager North America Dominic Becker said. “During his loan spell at Barnsley, he highlighted that he could make the step to Europe, and it is only a question of time until he makes that step permanently.” 

Dike’s market value grew by 60% from $5.5 million to now $8.8 million, ranking him among the five most valuable players in MLS. Another US striker that has seen his market value increase significantly is Cowell. The 17-year-old saw his market value grow by 316.7%, from $660,000 to now $2.75 million. “He is the biggest talent at the Quakes,” Becker said. “Cowell’s youth and carefreeness have added something special to Matías Almeyda‘s side. Just 17, he acts like a veteran in front of goal.” 

Dike, Busio, Cowell & Co.: Biggest winners of the MLS market value update

Matt Turner | New England Revolution | New market value: $2.75m (+$1.65m)

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Ricardo Pepi | FC Dallas | New market value: $2.75m (+$1.65m)

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Aké Loba | Nashville SC | New market value: $4.95m (+$1.65m)

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Jesús Medina | New York City FC | New market value: $4.95m (+$1.65m)

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Eduard Atuesta | LAFC | New market value: $5.5m (+$1.65m)

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Cade Cowell | San Jose Earthquakes | New market value: $2.75m (+$2.09m)

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Dániel Sallói | Sporting Kansas City | New market value: $3.3m (+$2.2m)

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Tajon Buchanan | New England Revolution | New market value: $4.4m (+$2.2m)

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Gianluca Busio | Sporting Kansas City | New market value: $6.6m (+$2.2m)

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Daryl Dike | Orlando City | New market value: $8.8m (+$3.3m)

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Buchanan, Busio, Che & Co.: Transfer targets in the spotlight  

In general, MLS products are increasingly in the transfer spotlight. While playmaker Caden Clark has already seen his transfer from New York Red Bulls to RB Leipzig confirmed, three other MLS products are still awaiting their transfer this summer. 

But whether it is New England Revolution’s Buchanan, Sporting Kansas City‘s Gianluca Busio, or FC Dallas defender Justin Che, the consensus is, the jump to Europe is only a matter of time. As a result, all three have seen their market value increase. 

Buchanan, who has been linked to clubs in Portugal and Germany, made the biggest jump growing his market value by 100% (+$2.2m to $4.4m). Several Italian clubs want Busio, and his market value grew by 50% (+2.2m to $6.6m).

Finally, there is Che. The Dallas defender had a transfer to Bayern Munich, all agreed, but for now, will remain in MLS—both sides want to revisit a transfer in January. Either way, Che, who also has a German passport, is in demand, and his market value grows once again, this time from $2.2 million to $3.3 million—he is now among the five most valuable USMNT eligible center-backs

Vela & Higuaín drop – MVP Rossi also disappoints 

There was also movement at the very top. Last winter Rossi became the first MLS player to break through the $20 million barrier. But after failing to make Uruguay’s Copa América squad and scoring just four goals in 10 games, the 23-year-old sees his market value drop slightly from $22 million to $19.8 million. The upcoming summer transfer window in Europe will now determine whether Rossi can maintain that value. 

Higuaín, Vela & Co.: Biggest losers of the MLS market value update

Alexandre Pato | Orlando City | New market value: $3.85m (-$1.65m)

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Nicolás Lodeiro | Seattle Sounders | New market value: $3.85m (-$1.65m)

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Santiago Sosa | Atlanta United | New market value: $6.6m (-$1.65m)

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Victor Wanyama | CF Montréal | New market value: $7.15m (-$1.65m)

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Blaise Matuidi | Inter Miami CF | New market value: $5.5m (-$2.2m)

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Alejandro Pozuelo | Toronto FC | New market value: $11m (-$2.2m)

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Diego Rossi | LAFC | New market value: $19.8m (-$2.2M)

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Rodolfo Pizarro | Inter Miami CF | New market value: $7.7m (-$3.3m)

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Gonzalo Higuaín | Inter Miami CF | New market value: $5.5m (-$5.5m)

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Carlos Vela | LAFC | New market value: $8.8m (-$7.7m)

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Rossi’s teammate Vela, and formerly the second most valuable player in the league, also drops. “Vela’s age is starting to show,” Becker said. “The fitness and ease that has specified his game has been lacking. He has also struggled with several smaller injuries, and he is no longer the star of the league.” Vela’s downgrade is only consequential, and the Mexican drops from $16.5 million to $8.8 million. 

Vela is not the only aging superstar to see his market value drop. Inter Miami CF’s Gonzalo Higuaín saw his market value half—from $11 million to now $5.5 million. “Higuaín underestimated the league, and it showed,” Becker said. “This season he has been better, but his fitness and commitment are still lacking. Also, aged 33, he will not be able to generate a significant transfer fee.” 

After the July 2021 update – The 25 most valuable MLS players

25 Efraín Álvarez | $5.5 million | Los Angeles Galaxy

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24 Cole Bassett | $5.5 million | Colorado Rapids

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23 Gustavo Bou | $6.6 million | New England Revolution

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22 Jonathan Osorio | $6.6 million | Toronto FC

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21 Mark-Anthony Kaye | $6.6 million | LAFC

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20 Hany Mukhtar | $6.6 million | Nashville SC

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19 Marcelino Moreno | $6.6 million | Atlanta United

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18 Santiago Sosa | $6.6 million | Atlanta United

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17 Brian Rodríguez | $6.6 million | Los Angeles FC

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16 Gianluca Busio | $6.6 million | Sporting Kansas City

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15 Victor Wanyama | $7.15 million | Montreal Impact

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14 Rodolfo Pizarro | $7.7 million | Inter Miami CF

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13 Carlos Vela | $8.8 million | Los Angeles FC

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12 Raúl Ruidíaz | $8.8 million | Seattle Sounders

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11 Yeferson Soteldo | $8.8 million | Toronto FC

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10 Daryl Dike | $8.8 million | Orlando City FC

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9 Talles Magno | $8.8 million | New York City FC

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8 Alan Pulido | $9.9 million | Sporting Kansas City

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7 Brenner | $9.9 million | FC Cincinnati

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6 Alejandro Pozuelo | $11 million | Toronto FC

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5 Lucas Zelarayán | $11 million | Columbus Crew

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4 Emanuel Reynoso | $11 million | Minnesota United

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3 Ezequiel Barco | $11 million | Atlanta United

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2 Josef Martínez | $13.75 million | Atlanta United

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1 Diego Rossi | $19.8 million | Los Angeles FC

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