Most expensive players by age featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Virgil van Dijk and Paul Pogba
The biggest clubs in Europe have shown that they are not afraid to splash the cash on players irrespective of age if they deem the player worthy of the money. This is why Kylian Mbappe at the age of 19, became the second most expensive player in the world and Cristiano Ronaldo at 33 cost more than what Real Madrid paid for him when he was 24-years-old.
When you categorise the world’s most expensive transfers by age, some high profile transfers don’t feature in the list including Philippe Coutinho who is the third most expensive player in the world at the moment.
14 - Sheyi Ojo (£2m, MK Dons to Liverpool, 2011)
There was interest in Sheyi Ojo from a host of top European clubs but eventually, Liverpool won a bidding war with Chelsea to land a player who already had two caps for England at the youth level.
Ojo is still contracted to Liverpool but he is spending the season on loan at Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims after previous spells on loan at Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham. He has one goal in 13 first team appearances for Liverpool but it doesn’t look like the most expensive 14-year-old has a future at Anfield.
Also, the 21-year-old winger is the only Englishman on this list.
15 - Fran Merida (£2.2m, Barcelona to Arsenal, 2005)
The route from La Masia to Arsenal is famous thanks to Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin but it hasn’t worked out for everyone, especially not Fran Merida.
Arsene Wenger described the midfielder as “an absolutely amazing player” but after two goals in 16 first team appearances and an average loan spell at Real Sociedad, he was sold to Atletico Madrid in 2010.
Interestingly, he became the most expensive 15-year-old by taking the record of Jermaine Pennant for whom Arsenal paid £2m in 1999.
Before you wonder, he is 28-years-old now and plays for Osasuna.
16 - Pietro Pellegri (£17.1m, Genoa to Monaco, 2018)
In recent years, Monaco has signed promising young players for a nominal fee and sold them for a hefty price after they’ve become established players. For Pietro Pellegri, however, the Ligue 1 club had to spend £17.1m to sign him.
The Italian is the youngest player to play in the Serie A aged 15 and 280 days. He scored three goals in nine games for Genoa in the Italian top flight before moving to Monaco in January 2018.
Pellegri hasn’t broken into the Monaco first team yet but he’s still only 17-years-old and has already scored once for the club thus becoming the first player born in the 21st century to score in France’s top division.