5 Most Valuable Players in MLS Right Now (2023)

Thiago Almada and Lionel Messi are two of the most valuable MLS Players
Thiago Almada and Lionel Messi are two of the most valuable MLS Players

Major League Soccer (MLS) is the most prestigious men’s soccer division in the United States. Home to some of the best players in the business, the league produces eye-catching matches every weekend, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

From the likes of David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi, MLS has attracted many top talents over the years. They have pushed the league to greater heights, making it a lucrative destination for rising stars as well as veterans.

Today, we will take a look at the league’s current roster and identify those who hold the most market value in 2023.

Now without further ado, let’s begin!

Data via: Transfermarkt

#5 Jose Cifuentes (LAFC) — $13.2 million

Jose Cifuentes is one of the most valuable MLS players.
Jose Cifuentes

Currently valued at $13.2 million, Los Angeles FC (LAFC) central midfielder Jose Cifuentes is his team’s most valuable player. The 24-year-old Ecuadorian joined LAFC in January 2020, costing the club a mere $3 million in transfer fees. He has since emerged as a key cog at LAFC, featuring in almost every game he has been available in.

Since signing from CD Universidad Catolica, Cifuentes has appeared in 121 games in all competitions, scoring 15 times and claiming 20 assists. He was one of LAFC’s best players as they won the MLS Cup in the 2021-22 season.

#4 Sebastian Driussi (Austin FC) — $16.5 million

Sebastian Driussi is one of MLS' most valuable players.
Sebastian Driussi

Austin FC’s undisputed talisman Sebastian Driussi is as versatile as they come. The Argentine, who currently carries a price tag of  $16.5 million, operates at his best as an attacking midfielder, but can also play as a left-winger and a center-forward. He is quick with the ball at his feet, knows how to pick a pass, and is not afraid to shoot from range.

Having joined from Zenit Saint-Petersburg for a $7 million fee in July 2021, Driussi has gone on to play in 75 games for Austin in all competitions. He has thus far scored 38 times and claimed 12 assists.

#3 Talles Magno (New York City FC) — $16.5 million

Talles Magno is one of the most valuable MLS players
Talles Magno

Brazil U-17 star Talles Magno is widely hailed as New York City’s most promising attacker. The 21-year-old forward can not only play on either wing but is also a handful as a center-forward. He is quick off his mark, knows how to put crosses into the area, and combines well with his teammates.

Magno, whose current market value stands at $16.5 million, joined New York City FC from Brazilian side Vasco da Gama in May 2021. He has so far played 88 games for the MLS outfit, netting 17 times and providing 10 assists.

#2 Thiago Almada (Atlanta United) — $22 million

Thiago Almada is one of the most valuable MLS players.
Thiago Almada

Argentina international Thiago Almada proudly operates as Atlanta United’s creator-in-chief. A natural attacking midfielder, Almada also doubles up as a competent winger, with him capable of playing on either side.

The 22-year-old, who has scored once in four appearances for Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina, joined Atlanta from Argentine side Velez Sarsfield in February 2022. He has since played in 54 games for the MLS club in all tournaments, recording 16 goals and 16 assists.

#1 Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) — $38.5 million

Lionel Messi is the most valuable player in MLS
Lionel Messi

By far the most decorated player to play in MLS, Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi is currently the league’s most valuable individual, with him carrying a price tag of $38.5 million. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who joined Inter Miami as a free agent, has won it all in club and international football.

Between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), he played 853 games in all competitions, bagging 704 goals and 338 assists. He won 12 league titles and four Champions League trophies, amongst other honors. In international colors, he has scored 103 goals and provided 56 assists in 175 games, winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2021 Copa America.

Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old has hit the ground running at Inter Miami, scoring thrice in two games.

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