Is there a ‘perfect’ tool to determine if one player is better than the other? Every person who follows the sport has their own preference in this matter. Some prefer to decide using stats, while others judge on the basis of performance. As a result, we almost always land on different conclusions.
However, one thing that may truly justify a player’s position is his or her market value.
And today, we use that exact tool to determine who is the best footballer amongst the Southeast Asian nations, courtesy of Tranfermarkt (as of November 13, 2018).
10. Stefano Lilipaly (Indonesia)
Coming in at number 10 is Indonesia’s Stefano Lilipaly. The 28-year-old was born in Arnhem, Netherlands but represents Indonesia due to his paternal ancestry.
Lilpaly is currently playing in his home nation for Bali United but has had previous stints at FC Utrecht, Consadole Sapporo, Persija Jakarta, Telstar, and SC Cambuur.
He is currently valued at £405,000.
#9. Javier Patino (Philippines)
Next up, is Philippines’, Javier Patino. The Spanish-born Filipino striker was all set to represent his nation in the AFF Suzuki Cup but was unfortunately ruled out due to an injury.
Like Lilipaly, Patino also holds Southeast Asian ancestry, due to his mother being from the Philippines. He has played for Spanish clubs in the past but is currently playing for Buriram United in Thailand.
Patino is currently valued at £450,000.
=7. Theerathon Bunmathan (Thailand)
Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac made a decision to call up only locally-based players for the AFF Suzuki Cup. Playing for Vissel Kobe in Japan, Theerathon was amongst those who didn’t make the cut.
Before the Suzuki Cup, however, Theerthon had played for his country a total of 52 times, scoring 5 goals in the process.
The 28-year-old left back is currently valued at £495,000.
=7. Daisuke Sato (Philippines)
Joining Theerathon in the seventh position is another left back- Daisuke Sato. The 24-year-old Filipino has become somewhat of a stalwart for his national team, appearing 36 times since his debut in 2014.
On a club level, Sato is currently playing for Sepsi Sfantu Gheorghe, a Romanian first division club.
Sato is currently valued at £495,000.
6. Teerasil Dangda (Thailand)
Another casualty from Thailand’s 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup squad was Teerasil Dangda. Like his compatriot Theerathon, Dangda also plays outside Thailand; for Japanese club Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The 30-year-old forward, however, can boast of his European experience as well, having played for Almeria and Grasshopper. He was even contracted to Manchester City for a solitary season before returning home.
Nearing a century in terms of his appearances for the national team, Dangda is currently valued at £585,000.
#5. Chanathip Songkrasin (Thailand)
Shaped by his father and coach in the mould of Diego Maradona, Chanathip has been one of Thailand football’s success stories. Still only 25-years-old, the explosive winger is four short of a half-century of international appearances.
On a club level, Songkrasin plays for J-League side Consadole Sapporo. While he joined the Japanese side on loan initially, his stellar performances urged Consadole to sign him on a permanent basis (starting 2019).
On the cusp of making his permanent switch to his new side, Songkrasin is currently valued at £630,000.
=2. Kawin Thamsatchanan (Thailand)
We begin a three-way tie for the second place with Thailand’s Kawin Thamsatchanan. The 28-year-old goalkeeper missed out on this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup due to currently playing for Belgian second division side, OH Leuven.
Over in Belgium, Kawin is coached by a face familiar to many Premier League fans- Nigel Pearson (former Leicester City manager).
Speaking on an international level, the Thai custodian has made 65 national team appearances. He is currently valued at £720,000.
=2. Natxo Insa (Malaysia)
Next in our three-way tie for second is Malaysia’s Spanish-born midfielder Natxo Insa.
Out of all present on the list, Insa perhaps has had the most prominent of careers. The midfielder was playing in Spain up until 2017 before he moved to Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta’zim. He has played for several high-profile Spanish clubs in the past, such as Valencia, Villareal, Celta Vigo, and Levante.
The 32-year-old obtained a Malaysian citizenship through his grandmother and only made his first international appearance in 2018. However, his European exploits are the reason he is valued at £720,000.
=2. Alvaro Silva (Philippines)
34-year-old Alvaro Silva is yet another Southeast Asian player who was born in Spain. The centre-back started his career in Malaga, playing for the ‘B’ team, before being promoted to the first team.
Silva made 46 appearances for Malaga before leaving the Spanish club. A ‘journeyman’ through the rest of his career, he landed in Malaysia this year and currently plays for Kedah.
He is currently valued at £720,000.
1. Neil Etheridge (Philippines)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one would find Neil Etheridge occupying most of the top spots in ASEAN lists.
Born in Enfield, London, Etheridge went on to represent the youth sides of Chelsea and Fulham. It was at the latter who gave him his first pro-contract, only to release him in 2014. The goalkeeper then went on to play for several clubs in bits and parts and was ready to give up football when Neil Warnock signed him for Cardiff City.
He is currently thriving in the biggest league in the world and even earned some plaudits for his performances.
The sole player to break the ‘million’ barrier, Etheridge is currently valued at £3,150,000.
Source : Fox Sports