It wasn't long ago that Sergi Roberto was a forgotten man at Barcelona. The Academy product struggled in his first few seasons as a senior, and the promise of the New Xavi became a bench warmer who didn't have too much of a future.
Then Luis Enrique arrived, and after a transition season, he exploded onto the scene since the start of the last campaign, and Roberto's versatility stood out and made him a huge piece of the squad. He played in seven different positions last season, shining as a full-back, and after the departure of legendary right-back Dani Alves, it was Roberto who took Alves' place and is now the undisputed starter at that position.
And Roberto's ascendancy has been so fantastic he's now a valuable commodity in the transfer market. According to website Transfermarkt, Roberto is now the third most valuable full-back in world football, with a market value of €21 million. Only Madrid's Carvajal and Liverpool's Nathan Clyne are more valuable players than Roberto in his position, a remarkable feat achieved by a player we never thought would be this good.
This is the list of the fifteen most valuable right-backs according to Transfermarkt:
1 - Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
2 - Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
3 - Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)
4 - Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal)
5 - Danilo (Real Madrid)
6 - Seamus Coleman (Everton)
7 - Mário Fernandez (CSKA)
8 - Sime Vrsaljko (Atlético Madrid)
9 - Juanfran (Atlético Madrid)
10 - João Cancelo (Valencia)
11 - Serge Aurier (PSG)
12 - Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
13 - Matteo Damian (Manchester United)
14 - Elseid Hysaj (Napoli)
15 - Bruno Peres (Torino)
Who would have thought Roberto would be a top-three player on the market? What a career turnaround.