We take a look at the most expensive teenage footballers in the history of the sport.
• Anthony Martial is the current most expensive youngster (GBP 36m)
• Wayne Rooney commanded a fee of GBP 25.6 in 2004
• Some players prove themselves, while some disappoint
Year after year, the transfer fees become bigger and bigger. And considering the nature of the game, huge sums are not surprising any longer. However, what still seems to not only surprise fans but also managers, is the fact that some young players can cost staggering amounts of money.
Some expensive teenage footballers can go on to make history for their clubs, while others will fall into oblivion with us only remembering their huge price tags. Here are some of the most expensive youngsters in football, past and present.
Saviola was one of the hottest young players in the world in 2001, and he was soon snatched up by Barcelona. According to UEFA, Saviola cost Barcelona an estimated EUR 20 million, and he didn’t disappoint averaging exactly 20 goals (all competitions) in his first three years. However, he was afterwards shipped out on loan first to Monaco and then to Sevilla, where he suffered a decline in form. Afterwards, Real Madrid signed him on a free transfer in 2007, but he never reached the heights that many expected him to.
Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva, also known as Pato (his birthplace), appeared to be one of the promising Brazilian strikers before he moved to Europe. In late 2006, AC Milan acquired him from Internacional for a rumoured 22 million euros. He impressed greatly in the beginning, scoring 9 goals in his first year and then moving up to 18 goals in all competitions in the following season. Mobile betting providers favoured him to be the top scorer at AC Milan, as he continued the fine form, until his last year and a half, where he only managed to score 6 goals.
Anderson was touted as a promising midfield star while playing for Porto, which is one of the reasons why Manchester United agreed to pay a price of around GBP 22 million. In his initial time with Man United it seemed that he has easily adapted to the Premier League, however soon he started to suffer a lack in form which saw him put on only a few appearances for the Red Devils. Now he is plying his trade back home in Brazil, for Internacional.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is known to follow a strict policy of signing superstars for his side. So during the end of his first stint as Los Blancos president, he brought out the cheque book to pay an incredible EUR 27 million for Sevilla’s prodigy Sergio Ramos. And oh boy, did that pay off for years to come… Then 19-year-old Ramos became the only Spanish Galactico bought by Perez and one of the most expensive teenage footballers in the club’s history. A decade later and he is still going strong in all segments of his game.
AS Roma won the Italian championship in 2001 and they were aiming to strengthen their squad to defend their title next season. As a result they purchased Antonio Cassano, who was only 19 at the time. They paid close to EUR 30 million for his services, and during his four and half years with the Yellow-Reds he scored a combined 52 goals. He was later signed by Real Madrid after which he was sold to Sampdoria. Afterwards, he jumped from one club to the next, but this season he is back plying his trade for Sampdoria.
In the summer of 2013, AS Roma was willing to sell their prized central defender. Just like with other hot players, he too attracted a host of clubs to compete for his signature. Barcelona were in need of a central defender, however they were not willing to break the bank for a 19-year-old talent they deemed to be untested. PSG came in a paid a fee rumoured to be around 31 million euros.
In the summer of 2004, at the ripe age of 18, Rooney already had two full seasons under his belt, playing for his boyhood club Everton. Newcastle United showed strong interest to purchase him, however Manchester United made a better offer worth GBP 25.6 million, which the Toffees accepted. At the time, it was the most expensive transfer fee paid for a teenager. Since then he has gone on to become an icon of the club, despite running into many controversies along the way. Before he was able to score 30+ goals in a season, however now as he is getting older has drawn back in the goalscoring charts. online sportsbooks in the UK, like Bet365 , don’t favour him to become the top goalscorer 34.00 (33/1) for the 2015/16 season of the Premier League. Instead, it is Man City’s Aguero who holds the favourite odds 4.50 (7/2).
In the summer of 2014, Manchester United were in the hunt of a new left-back, after the departure of Patrice Evra. Chelsea were also among the interested parties, but were unwilling to succumb to the player’s wage demands. Man United paid around 30 million pounds to Southampton for his services, which at the time made him the most expensive football teenager in the sport.
Locas Moura is just like any hot Brazilian player. His ascend to superstardom happened virtually overnight, as reports in 2012 circulated that several big clubs were after his signature. He was poised to join Manchester United, however they were unwilling to pay the astronomical transfer fee demanded by Sao Paulo. Inter was also among the interested parties, however in the end it was PSG that snapped him for an astonishing 45 million euros.
Anthony Martial – the freshest expensive football teenager
A year after making Luke Shaw the most expensive young player, Manchester United decided to give the green light to manager Louis van Gaal to sign Anthony Martial. The young French forward was born in 1995, but despite his age the transfer fee for his services was heavily rumoured to be around 36 million pounds. The clause also stipulated that the final price could rise to an incredible 58 million pounds altogether if certain conditions were accomplished during his stay at Old Trafford. This sum even reached gambling news, but if he keeps performing the way he has, he will soon justify his price tag. This effectively made him the most expensive football teenager in the world…at least until the next transfer window opens.