Premier League clubs have produced plenty of gems over the years and we’ve checked in on each side’s most valuable academy graduate in 2024.
While plenty of academy graduates have stuck around at their original club, others have forged a career path away from where they first started.
Using figures provided by Transfermarkt, we’ve identified each Premier League club’s most valuable academy graduate and where they are in 2024.
Arsenal – Bukayo Saka – £103million
He’s more than earned his ‘Starboy’ nickname. These days Saka is one of the first names on the teamsheet under both Mikel Arteta and Gareth Southgate.
Since making his debut back in 2018–19, Saka has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most valuable players across world football. He’s already on the path to becoming an Arsenal legend.
Aston Villa – Jack Grealish – £60million
In hindsight, his blockbuster move to Manchester City probably worked out best for everyone involved. Aston Villa were able to bank £100million to improve the spine of their squad and Grealish has got his hands on plenty of trophies.
We can’t help but wonder just how good Grealish would have been in this Unai Emery system, but we can hardly begrudge him the move to City.
Bournemouth – Danny Ings – £8million
Ings graduated through the Bournemouth academy back in 2009 and has since enjoyed a stellar career in the Championship and Premier League.
Having not yet scored this season for West Ham, he’s probably no longer at the peak of his powers, but he still manages to maintain a reasonable market value of £8million.
Brentford – Tyrick Mitchell – £19million
The Bees dispanded their academy in 2016 before relaunching it in the summer of 2022. Mitchell was one of the youngsters who subsequently left the club upon the academy being shut down and it’s fair to say he’s done alright for himself since.
He was swiftly picked up by Crystal Palace upon leaving Brentford and he’s since racked up over 100 Premier League appearances for the club.
Brighton – Evan Ferguson – £56million
It’s easy to get carried away with young prospects, but Ferguson looks like a star in the making for Brighton. He’s already attracting interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs and it’s easy to see why.
The 19-year-old is averaging a Premier League goal every 164 minutes and looks destined to go to the very top. It’s a good job that Brighton have him tied down until the summer of 2029.
Burnley – Dwight McNeil – £17million
The Clarets managed to bank around £20million for McNeil after some eye-catching years at Turf Moor.
He’s certainly proved his worth in an Everton shirt as he continues to impress at Goodison Park. McNeil finished the 2022-23 campaign as Everton’s top scorer and has been one of their best performers this time around.
Chelsea – Declan Rice – £94million
The one that got away. After being released by the Chelsea academy as a 14-year-old, Rice found success elsewhere and is now tearing things up in north London.
Rice isn’t the only youngster that Chelsea have let slip through their fingers either.
Crystal Palace – Aaron Wan-Bissaka – £17million
Arguably one of Europe’s best defensive full-backs on his day. Wan-Bissaka has racked up over 170 appearances for Manchester United since his switch in 2019, although his long-term future is seemingly up in the air.
Everton – Anthony Gordon – £43million
Gordon didn’t exactly leave Everton on the best of terms, but the switch to Newcastle has done wonders for his development.
While plenty of fans raised an eyebrow at Eddie Howe’s side splashing £45million on the winger, he’s more than justified that price tag since. With 12 goal contributions this season, he’s knocking on the door for the England squad.
Fulham – Eberechi Eze – £41million
The Crystal Palace star spent around two years in the Fulham academy as a kid, but it wasn’t until he joined QPR in 2016 that he got his big breakthrough.
Fast forward to 2024 and Eze is now one of the most sought-after playmakers in the league. With a deadly drop of the shoulder and razor-sharp vision, it’s no wonder so many of the big boys are interested in his signature.
Liverpool – Trent Alexander-Arnold – £60million
There can be little doubt that Alexander-Arnold currently ranks among the best players in the league. Since taking up a hybrid midfield role, the 25-year-old has been in a league of his own.
He’s chipped in with seven goal contributions in his last 11 matches and has been playing out of his skin of late. Just look at the Premier League table since Jurgen Klopp moved him into midfield.
Luton Town – James Justin – £13million
The 25-year-old started his football career with Luton and helped the club gain promotion from League One in 2018-19.
Once touted as a future England star, injuries haven’t been kind to Justin over the years. He has managed to remain injury-free this year though and is currently enjoying a good season with Leicester in the Championship.
Manchester City – Phil Foden – £94million
We could happily watch compilations of Foden all day long. He’s really come into his own this season too and has established himself as a regular starter under Pep Guardiola.
In the Premier League this season, only Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez have produced more goal contributions for City than Foden.
Manchester United – Marcus Rashford – £60million
There’s no denying that Rashford endured a difficult start to the season, but the 26-year-old has managed to rediscover some form of late. With four goal contributions in his last four matches, Rashford is slowly starting to look like his usual self once again.
Newcastle – Sean Longstaff – £21million
He might not be the flashiest of names in the Newcastle squad these days, but Longstaff still manages to hold his own. Eddie Howe even thinks he good enough to make the England squad.
“I haven’t spoken with Sean in any great detail about the England squad or his dreams and aims, but I’d encourage it for him because I think he is good enough,” Howe told reporters.
“I think he’s got everything depending on what system you want to play but for us, he perfectly fits the number eight role that we’re using him in.”
Nottingham Forest – Brennan Johnson – £41million
Forest fans were sad to see Johnson depart in the summer, but the 22-year-old has gone from strength to strength since his switch to north London.
Johnson is perfectly suited to Ange Postecoglou’s high-energy system and the former Forest man seems to be enjoying life in his new surroundings right now.
Sheffield United – Aaron Ramsdale – £24million
Ramsdale spent his formative years with Sheffield United but only managed two senior appearances before he was snapped up by Bournemouth in 2017.
Nowadays he finds himself in a precarious situation at Arsenal. With Mikel Arteta favouring David Raya over the former Sheffield United man, his long-term future is up in the air.
Tottenham – Harry Kane – £94million
He can’t stop scoring right now.
West Ham – Declan Rice – £94million
For many Hammers, seeing Rice in an Arsenal shirt still doesn’t quite seem right. The 25-year-old built a special bond with the West Ham faithful during his time at the club and had some unforgettable moments with the Hammers.
Wolves – Morgan Gibbs-White – £34million
Wolves fans never really got to see the best of Gibbs-White. He’d always seem to thrive during his loan spells away from the club, but he never quite managed to nail down a consistent starting spot at Molineux.
His move to Nottingham Forest probably worked out best for all parties as Wolves managed to bank a large sum and Gibbs-White has been thriving in his new surroundings.