Manchester United signed 19-year-old Anthony Martial on the transfer deadline day for £36 million to make the ex-Monaco striker the most expensive teenager in the history of football. The highly rated French striker will wear the iconic number 9 kit at Manchester United and will be trying to justify his huge price tag.
In this article, we have ranked the 15 top teenagers according to their transfer fee. Not all could become the player the clubs, who bought them, wanted to be. Some became superstars and some failed to justify the huge price tag which gave them a huge pressure to succeed at such young age.
Here are 15 most expensive teenagers in the history of football.
Kurt Zouma (Saint-Étienne to Chelsea, £12m)
Chelsea signed the highly rated central defender for a huge amount and he is justifying his price tag at Stamford Bridge now and is touted to have a great future.
Sergio Aguero (Independiente to Atletico Madrid, £15m)
Atletico doubled their money on Aguero when they sold him to City five years after his arrival at the Vicente Calderon in 2006. He has gone on to become one of the deadliest strikers in world football.
Romelu Lukaku ( Anderlecht to Chelsea, £15m)
Chelsea shelled out a huge fee and a five-year contract for the 18-year-old Belgian but gave him just 10 appearances before loaning him out to West Brom and Everton and, despite impressing during both spells, he is seemingly on Jose Mourinho’s ‘to-shell’ list, although his dismal World Cup showing won’t have done his price tag any favours.
Alexandre Pato ( Internacional to AC Milan, £15m)
Pato was so young (17) when he signed for the Milanese that he was unable to play official matches for six months due to FIFA regulations on non-EU minors. Despite showing a lot of promises and racking up 51 goals in 117 appearances, the Brazilian was sold to Corinthians in 2013 for €15m (£12m) and now plays on loan at Sao Paolo.
John Obi Mikel ( Lyon to Chelsea, £16m)
Although Manchester United thought they had signed him for for £4m in 2005, the 19-year-old Nigerian holding midfielder ended up with the Blues after they paid the Red Devils £12m to drop their option on the player and sent a further £4 to Lyn to capture his services. He cried the day he joined Chelsea as he had dreamed of the move to Old Trafford but has been a mainstay ever since, clocking up 206 appearances but just one goal.
Sergio Ramos (Sevilla to Real Madrid, £19m)
Ramos has become a talismanic figure for Real Madrid since his arrival from Sevilla. The defender was wanted by Manchester United during the summer, but he eventually committed his future to Madrid by signing a new contract.
Antonio Cassano (Bari to Roma, £20m)
Cassano was only 19 when Roma paid £20m to sign him from Bari in 2001. The Italian striker went on to have a colourful career, with spells at Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter, among others.
Marquinhos (Roma to PSG, £22m)
Chelsea tried and failed to take Marquinhos to Stamford Bridge this summer. The Brazilian is rated as one of the best young centre-backs around, and PSG are unlikely to part with him anytime soon
Anderson (Porto to Manchester United, £22m)
It’s fair to say Anderson was not exactly a storming success at Old Trafford. The Brazilian midfielder only made 10 appearances in his final two seasons at United and he now finds himself back in his homeland with Internacional.
Javier Saviola (River Plate to Barcelona, £25m)
The Argentine striker arrived at Barcelona as one of the most exciting young talents in world football in 2001. He scored 60 goals in his first three seasons at the Nou Camp, but his career never quite hit the heights that had been expected. He’s now back at River Plate at the age of 33.
Wayne Rooney (Everton to Manchester United, £26m)
While his current form leaves a lot to be desired, the £30m spent on Rooney in 2004 remains one of United’s wisest investments. The 29-year-old is their captain and talisman, and he is only 16 goals short of Bobby Charlton’s 249-goal United scoring record.
Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo to PSG, £28m)
The Brazilian forward has not exactly set the world alight since his big-money move to PSG. Now 23, he still struggles to hold down a regular starting spot for the French giants.
Luke Shaw (Southampton to Manchester United, £31m)
Shaw had a tough start to life at United after his big-money switch from Southampton as he struggled for fitness and form, but the left-back has started the 2015/16 campaign in fine form. He looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
Anthony Martial (Monaco to Manchester United, £36m)
The 19-year-old has been handed the No 9 shirt at United and the pressure is on the youngster to make an immediate impact at his new club. Martial only has one full season under his belt with Monaco, but he is a highly-rated striker and United will be hoping he can live up to comparisons with Thierry Henry.