The most expensive teenagers of all time revealed

Manchester United and Real Madrid are at the forefront of spending on expensive teenage footballers, although neither team has spent the most on a single player.

Whether you are a real-life football manager or one who travels over 1000 miles to watch an Italian third-division team play just because of a video game, there is nothing more satisfying than nurturing a young player.

It would be ideal if all young players could come through a team’s youth academy, but very few teams have been fortunate enough to have a generation like Manchester United’s Class of ’92 or the steady stream of talent produced by Barcelona’s La Masia.

For most young players, there is usually a transfer at some point along the way, whether it is before they have made a name for themselves or just after.

In the quest for the next wonderkid, clubs often have to shell out large sums of money to secure their services.

Manchester United certainly found one in Wayne Rooney, although the forward had already demonstrated his talent during his two years at Everton before joining United.

A recent poll has ranked the former England forward as the second-best player of all time in the Premier League, validating the hefty transfer fee that United paid to sign him as a teenager.

Despite the €37 million that Sir Alex Ferguson spent for ‘Wazza,’ it’s only the third most spent by the club on a player under the age of 20, and 10th most in football history, according toFootball Transfers.

10. Wayne Rooney (Everton to Man Utd, €37m, 2004)

9. Luke Shaw (Southampton to Man Utd, €37.5m, 2014)

8. Fabio Silva (Porto to Wolves, €40m, 2020)

7. Vinicius Junior (Flamengo to Real Madrid, €45m, 2018)

6. Rodrygo (Santos to Real Madrid, €45m, 2019)

5. Anthony Martial (Monaco to Man Utd, €60m, 2015)

4. Endrick (Palmeiras to Real Madrid, €72m, 2024)

3. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax to Juventus, €85m, 2019)

2. Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid, €126m, 2019)

1. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG, €180m, 2017)

Mbappe is the most expensive teenager ever. Image: Alamy

It comes as no surprise that Kylian Mbappe is the most expensive teenager ever, and the gulf between the amount Paris Saint-Germain paid for him and the sums paid for other teenagers is staggering.

However, with a World Cup winners’ medal, a World Cup runners-up medal, and a World Cup Golden Boot under his belt by the age of 24, it is easy to see why he commanded such a high fee.

Mbappe’s future at PSG is currently in doubt, particularly following his recent criticism of the club’s actions. Despite signing a new contract just last season, it will expire in 2024, leaving the possibility of him leaving for free in just over a year, resulting in a €180 million loss for the club compared to what they paid for him as a teenager.

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