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£166m Liverpool target, Man Utd flop: 7 most expensive teenagers as Bayern secure record deal

Signing a teenager is always a gamble in football, yet this week has seen Bayern Munich take that risk to a new level by recruiting…

The post £166m Liverpool target, Man Utd flop: 7 most expensive teenagers as Bayern secure record deal appeared first on HITC.

Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Signing a teenager is always a gamble in football, yet this week has seen Bayern Munich take that risk to a new level by recruiting 17-year-old Mathys Tel for a reported €40m (£34m).

The most expensive U-17 player of all-time as per Transfermarkt, Bayern are betting big on Tel, who last season only made a handful of appearances off the bench for Stade Rennais as the German side look to gamble on Tel becoming their long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski.

With Bayern breaking the previous U-17 record held by Real Madrid for their move for Eduardo Camavinga last year, big clubs are growing more confident in signing teenage players, yet as we will see, these bets don’t always pay off.

As Tel prepares to move to Bayern in a historic transfer, here are the seven most expensive teenagers in the history of football, with the majority of these moves happening in the last three years.

Kylian Mbappe – AS Monaco to PSG, £166m

Photo by Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images

Still one of the biggest transfers in the history of football, it only took one season for Kylian Mbappe to impress PSG so much that they would commit to signing an 18-year-old for £166m in 2017, and in hindsight, the transfer pulled off big time.

Whilst a UEFA Champions League title still alludes PSG, Mbappe has undoubtedly been the French club’s star player since arriving five years ago, and despite rumours of a move to Liverpool and, of course, Real Madrid, the attacker this summer penned a new contract to remain in Paris until 2025.

Joao Felix – Benfica to Atletico Madrid, £113m

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

From one blockbuster signing that pulled off to one that we all knew was never going to work out, Atletico Madrid signing Joao Felix from Benfica always felt like an odd move given the conflicting playing styles of both the Spanish giants and the Portuguese talent.

Whilst there have been some bright moments, Felix’s 2019 move to Atletico so far feels like a waste of potential, with the creative attacker only now starting to fit the mould of a player who Diego Simeone wants to lead his frontline.

Matthijs de Ligt – Ajax to Juventus, £66m

Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

It still feels odd that Matthijs de Ligt is only 22-years-old, with the defender leaving Juventus this summer to sign for Bayern Munich after three years in Turin where the Netherlands international joined the Italian giants for £66m.

After becoming Ajax’s youngest ever captain and breaking all sorts of records for the Dutch giants, Juventus won the race for De Ligt’s signature in 2019, and whilst the Italian side have sold on the centre-back this summer, the defender’s time with the Serie A titans was hardly wasted.

Anthony Martial – AS Monaco to Manchester United, £58m

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

You would think that the wealth of the Premier League would have seen a club sign a teenager that exceeds the £60m mark, but as things stand, Manchester United’s £58m (in total) move to sign Anthony Martial remains the most expensive transfer of this kind in England.

Signed in 2015, Martial seemed almost destined for greatness after scoring a fantastic goal against Liverpool, yet as we know, the attacker’s fast start to life in Manchester was a false dawn, and the winger has since seen his reputation take a hit over the past 12 months, with the forward likely to leave Old Trafford this summer.

Rodrygo – Santos to Real Madrid, £40m

Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

After missing out on Neymar to FC Barcelona, Real Madrid vowed to never miss out on the next big Brazilian talent again, and it is this that spurred Los Blancos to make two huge and shocking signings between 2017 and 2018, with Rodrygo the latter.

Signed for £40m from Santos, Madrid picked up Rodrygo before the then 17-year-old had even made ten appearances for the Brazilian giants, yet whilst the winger hasn’t kicked on just yet, the attacker’s late brace against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semi-final has made the youngster a cult hero.

Vinicius Junior – Flamengo to Real Madrid, £38m

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Before Rodrygo, there was Vinicius Junior, a transfer that truly stunned the footballing world given that Real Madrid forked out a reported £38m for a 16-year-old who had only played a handful of games for Flamengo before eventually moving to Madrid two years later.

Like Rodrygo, Vinicius had a slow start, but last season saw the attacker explode, hitting double digits for both goals and assists and scoring the winner in the UEFA Champions League final, with Madrid finally having their star Brazilian forward they missed out on with Neymar.

Fabio Silva – FC Porto to Wolves, £36m

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Admit it, you forgot this transfer even happen. Football Manager players rejoiced in 2020 when Wolves paid a club-record £36m to sign then-18-year-old FC Porto starlet Fabio Silva, and whilst the striker might be a guaranteed superstar in the online world, reality has not been as kind.

This summer has seen Silva leave Wolves for R.S.C. Anderlecht where the attacker will spend the season on loan, with the striker not quite ready for the physicality or the pace of the Premier League, something that Wolves arguably should have accounted for when they signed the youngster two years ago.
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