Many soccer fans believe soccer transfer fees are getting way out of hand and should be capped along with player salaries. The most expensive player in the world up to now has been Welsh international forward Gareth Bale who was sold by Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League to Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid for just over $100 million a couple of years ago. However, Premier League teams have been doling out millions of dollars on players of all ages for the last decade or more.
The exact dollar amount of transfer fees is sometimes hard to keep track of since they’re typically listed in English pounds or euros and the currency rate fluctuates on a daily basis when converted to dollars. For this list we have used euros, which is the currency of most European Union nations. Premier League teams aren’t afraid to take a gamble on teenaged players and several of them have turned out to be well worth the investment, but the majority of them never live up to their transfer fees. Some of the players develop into world class stars, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney and others are forgotten after a few years or become journeymen.
Rooney held the record as the costliest teenage transfer in Premier League history from 2004 to 2014 when it was shattered by Luke Shaw, who was also bought by Manchester United. We’ll take a look at the highest-priced transfer fees for teenaged Premier League players in this list and see how well they’ve performed for their clubs. We’ll also take a look at their transfer market value at the time of their moves as well as their current value on the market courtesy of the transfermarkt website. This shows which players have plunged in value and which ones have risen. These are the 10 costliest teenagers in Premier League history based on their transfer fees.
10 Connor Wickham, €9 million
English striker Connor Wickham is still just 21 years old, but back in 2011 he was transferred from Ipswich to Sunderland for a fee of 9 million euros when he was 18. The move took place on July 1st when Wickham’s market value was just 4 million euros. He’s played for England at the Under-16, 17, 19 and 21 levels with 17 goals to his name in 36 combined matches for those squads. Wickham has four goals and one assist in 30 games in all competitions in the 2014-15 campaign. His current market value is rated at 5 million euros. Wickham has 13 goals and four assists in 81 games since joining Sunderland.
9 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, €13.8 million
Winger/midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another 21-year-old English player who now toils for Arsenal. He was bought by the Gunners for 13.8 million euros in 2011 from Southampton at the age of 17 when his market value was rated at 2.5 million euros. He’s played at the Under-18, 19 and 21 levels for England with four goals in 13 games and also has five goals in 20 matches with the senior national team. He has three goals and four assists in 35 appearances in all competitions this year and his current market value is 18 million euros. He has 12 goals and 18 assists in 114 games with Arsenal since they bought him.
8 Cristiano Ronaldo, €17.5 million
Manchester United bought the 30-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003 when he was 18 for a cost of 17.5 million euros from Sporting Lisbon of Portugal. He appeared in 291 games with United and scored 118 goals along with 65 assists. United then sold him to Real Madrid for 94 million euros on July 1, 2009 when his market value was 60 million. He’s gone on to become the captain of Portugal as well as one of the world’s best ever soccer players. His current market value is now ranked at 120 million euros and his total career transfer fees add up to 111.5 million euros. Ronaldo has scored at more than a goal-per-game pace with Madrid with 293 goals in 284 contests.
7 Phil Jones, €19.3 million
Manchester United bought 23-year-old defender Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers in 2011 when he was 19 for 19.3 million euros when his market value was 3.5 million. The centre-back has one assist in 17 games this year and has compiled five goals and nine assists in 121 career matches with United. Jones played a combined 13 games with the England Under-19 and 21 squads without a goal. He’s also yet to score in 11 appearances with the senior national side. Jones’ current market value is ranked at 14 million euros.
6 John Obi Mikel, €20 million
Chelsea paid 20 million euros for 27-year-old Nigerian international midfielder John Obi Mikel to FK Lyn of Oslo when he was 19 years old in 2006. He’s played for Nigeria at the Under-17 and 20 levels and had three goals in 10 games and has four goals to his name in 62 appearances with the senior national squad. He has one goal and one assist in 20 games with Chelsea this season and has five goals and 12 assists in 334 matches in his career for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
5 Calum Chambers, €20.23 million
Arsenal shelled out 20.23 million euros to Southampton for 20-year-old defender Calum Chambers in the summer of 2014 when he was 19. His market value at the time was 2 million euros and it’s currently 15 million. He’s played for England at the Under-17, 19 and 21 levels with five goals in 23 games and is goalless in three matches with the senior national squad. Chambers can play right-back and centre-back and has a goal and three assists in 33 games with Arsenal since joining the London club. Mikel’s current market value is rated at 13 million euros.
4 Romelu Lukaku, €22 million
Chelsea bought 21-year-old Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku from Dutch club Anderlecht for 22 million euros in 2011 when he was 18. However, they rarely played him and sent him out on loan to West Brom in 2012 and then Everton in 2013. Everton paid a loan fee of 3.5 million euros for the season and then bought him outright for 35.36 million last summer. This brings his total transfer fees to 60.86 million euros and his current value is rated at 30 million. He was valued at 15 million euros when Chelsea bought him and 25 million when Everton obtained his services. Lukaku has 15 goals in 38 games this season and has 48 in 124 appearances since Chelsea bought him along with 19 assists.
3 Anderson, €31.5 million
Manchester United bought 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder Anderson back in 2007 from Portuguese side Porto for 31.5 million euros when he was 19. Things didn’t work out well for the club and the player as Anderson scored nine goals and added 21 assists in 181 matches during his injury-riddled career in England. He’s now gone back to Brazil to play for Internacional on a free transfer even though his current market value is 4 million euros. Anderson originally moved to Porto from Gremio for 5 million euros making his career transfer fees 36.5 million euros. He’s played nine games for Brazil with no goals and had eight in 17 games with the Under-17 and 23 sides.
2 Wayne Rooney, €37 million
Manchester United’s English international striker Wayne Rooney was the highest-priced teenager in the Premier League for a decade after the club paid 37 million euros to Everton for him back in the summer of 2004. The 29-year-old Rooney, along with Cristiano Ronaldo have definitely been worth the money paid for them. Rooney, who was 18 when he joined United, has 12 goals and six assists in 28 matches this season and has found the back of the net 228 times in 470 career appearances with them while setting up another 131. He’s also scored 46 goals in 100 matches with England and is the squad’s current captain. Rooney’s current market value is rated at 45 million euros.
1 Luke Shaw, €37.5 million
Manchester United bought English international old defender Luke Shaw from Southampton last summer for 37.5 million euros just days before he turned 19. His market value at the time was rated at 13 million and is currently listed at 21 million euros. The left-back has appeared in 18 games with united since the move and has one assist to his name. He’s represented England at the Under-16, 17 and 21 levels with two goals in 20 matches and has yet to score in four appearances with the country’s national squad.
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