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It might be hard to imagine earning £81 million at the age of 18, but for football’s wonderkids, the figure isn’t out of reach.
A leading research group in Switzerland has put together a list of estimated transfer values for the most expensive footballers in Europe – and we’ve singled out the highest-ranking teenagers.
Player performance: The quality and consistency of their form Player performance in relation to their club: Are they the star player? International status: How established are they for their country? Contract: Players with longer deals are more expensive Age: Younger players command higher fees Position: Goal scorers are more expensive than goalkeepers
Here are the five most valuable teenage footballers in the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1, ranked in ascending order.
5. Gianluigi Donnarumma, AC Milan — €39 million (£34.1 million).
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Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s talents belie his years. The 18-year-old may lack experience but he is already a first team staple at AC Milan.
Last season he made an astonishing 158 saves from 41 appearances in all competitions and clearly has a promising future in football.
That future is currently up in the air, though. This is because Donnarumma has reportedly rejected an £80,000 per week contract to stay at Milan, meaning he could be on the move in the summer transfer window.
4. Renato Sanches, FC Bayern München — €45.4 million (£39.7 million).
- David Ramos / Getty Images
Renato Sanches became a league champion with Benfica when he was just 18 years old, in 2016. Later that summer he helped Portugal win the European Championships and then secured a mega money move to FC Bayern München.
Sanches has attracted comparisons to legendary Dutchman Edgar Davids, not just because of his hairstyle, but also his playing style. A defensive midfielder by trade, Sanches – now 19 – is yet to break into the Bayern first team, but it is surely only a matter of time before he ousts the likes of Arturo Vidal.
3. Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund — €60.6 million (£53 million).
- Michael Probst/AP
American prospect Christian Pulisic may only be 18 years old, but the playmaking midfielder already plays a key role for Borussia Dortmund.
The versatile attacker made 42 appearances in all competitions at club level last season and has broken into Bruce Arena’s US national men’s team.
Pulisic punctuated his pedigree with a virtuoso performance against Trinidad and Tobago, scoring both goals in a 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
2. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United — €70.7 million (£61.8 million).
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Marcus Rashford burst onto the football scene in 2016, scoring five goals in just 11 Premier League outings.
The 19-year-old featured 53 times for Manchester United in the 2016-2017 season, but mostly as a substitute as he played second fiddle to strike king Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
United boss Jose Mourinho released Ibrahimovic from the club earlier this month, so if Rashford continues to improve, he could force his way into the first team next season.
1. Kylian Mbappé, AS Monaco — €92.6 million (£81 million).
- Martin Rickett / PA Wire / PA Images
You’ve surely heard of Kylian Mbappé by now.
The AS Monaco hotshot took the football world by storm last season with a series of consistently electric performances, and has since attracted the attention of Arsenal and Real Madrid.
One of the transfer stories of the summer will likely involve Mbappé and whether he leaves Ligue 1 for a “bigger” club.