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Top 5 most expensive teenagers in footballing history

Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
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Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg
Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

In a world where success is primarily achieved by the teams able to spend the most to sign the best footballers, there are not many categories of players who are as highly valued as young ones.

Young players are the cream of any football club as while their more established and senior colleagues might be the backbone of the team at the moment, the youngsters are usually seen as the future with their various teams revolving their long-term plans around them.

The heightened media coverage and expectation in the modern game see's most of these players thrust into the limelight early, with terms like wonder kid, prodigy and whizkid bandied about, while the Golden Boy and recently introduced Kopa award were created especially for young players.

Given their young age, these players are supposed to be shielded from the harsh realities of the professional footballing world, but an ever-increasing financial remuneration to clubs has led to an increased demand for success and has seen these young players thrust into the limelight somewhat prematurely.

As recently as a decade ago, only the best players were sold for eight figures, while average to below average players were sold for less than that. Young players were very rarely sold for more than €5m at most, but more cash and marketability means that football clubs now have access to more money to spend on signing players.

These days, it is not uncommon to see exuberant amounts spent on young players with little to no experience of top-level football. In this piece, we shall be having a rundown of the five most expensive teenagers in footballing history in lieu of Matthijs de Ligt's anticipated transfer to Juventus.

#5 Lucas Moura: €45m (Sao Paulo - PSG) 2012

A young Lucas Moura in action for Paris Saint-Germain
A young Lucas Moura in action for Paris Saint-Germain

Having distinguished himself with his displays for Sao Paulo in his native Brazil, Lucas Moura emerged as a transfer target for a number of top European clubs including Manchester United, Juventus and PSG.

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Ultimately, it was the Parisians who signed a then 19-year-old Lucas Moura for the sum of €45m which at the time made him the club's most expensive signing in history.

The Brazilian international spent a total of six seasons at the club, making 230 appearances in all competitions, scoring 46 goals to help PSG consolidate their utter dominance of the French game.

The 26-year-old joined Tottenham in January 2018, with his best moment so far coming when he scored a memorable second-half hattrick to help Tottenham overcome a 3-0 deficit against Ajax and progress to the final of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

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