Over the years, clubs have splashed the cash on some of the hottest young stars in world football, and the lucrative fees have continued to rise in recent seasons. Some deals have proved to be brilliant pieces of business, while others have failed to live up to expectations. Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham could be the next teenager to make a big-money move, so we’ve decided to take a look at the 10 most expensive teenagers of all time…
10. Javier Saviola - £31.5m
One of the first big-money moves for a teenager came back in 2001 when Barcelona paid River Plate £31.5m for forward Javier Saviola. The Argentine spent six years at the Nou Camp before leaving for Real Madrid on a free transfer.
9. Wayne Rooney - £33m
Manchester United’s £33m move for Everton striker Wayne Rooney back in 2004 was a risk at the time, however, it’s proved to be one of the best transfers of all time. Rooney went on to become United’s and England’s all-time record goalscorer, winning 11 major honours during his 13-year Old Trafford stint.
8. Luke Shaw - £33.75m
United spent a fraction more on left-back Luke Shaw in 2014. The defender arrived from Southampton but has struggled during his six-year stay in Manchester due to various injuries.
7. Lucas Moura - £36m
Lucas Moura now plies his trade with Tottenham, but days before his 20th birthday back in 2012, he cost Paris Saint-Germain £36m from Brazilian side Sao Paulo. The forward made over 200 appearances for the French giants over six years, winning 11 trophies. PSG then recouped £25m for Moura when he moved to Spurs in 2018 – decent business!
=5. Vinicius Junior - £40.5m
Real Madrid are known for bringing some of the best young talents to the Bernabeu, and they decided to spend £40.5m on Vinicius Junior from Flamengo back in 2018. The Brazilian winger has shown glimpses of brilliance under Zinedine Zidane.
=5. Rodrygo - £40.5m
The summer of 2018 also saw Madrid bring in another teenage Brazilian winger in Rodrygo. He moved to the Bernabeu from Santos six months later in a deal again worth £40.5m. Could the Brazilian pair go on to rule out wide for Madrid in years to come?
4. Anthony Martial - £54m
Anthony Martial became the most expensive teenager in world football back in 2015 when he joined Manchester United from Monaco. The French forward has been a regular for the Red Devils over the last five years, and still only 24, he’s definielty worth more than the £54m United paid for his services.
3. Matthijs de Ligt - £67.7m
Matthijs de Ligt sealed a big-money move to Juventus a month before his 20th birthday. The Dutch defender starred for Ajax prior to his move to Italy and even knocked his current team out of the Champions League last season with a crucial away goal!
2. Joao Felix - £113m
Joao Felix’s breakthrough campaign with Benfica in 2018 made him one of the most in-demand teenagers of all time. Several European giants were after the Portuguese forward, with Atletico Madrid winning the race in a deal worth £113m.
1. Kylian Mbappe - £166m
Kylian Mbappe is regarded as one of the best footballers in the world, and he tops the charts as the most expensive teenager. Paris Saint-Germain brought the forward in on loan from Monaco in 2017 ahead of a permanent deal which has reportedly cost around £166m. He appears to be worth every penny, and it’s difficult to see any teenager ever costing more than the Frenchman!