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Top 10 most expensive U-17 transfers in world football

Published at :July 31, 2022 at 7:40 PM
Modified at :July 31, 2022 at 7:49 PM
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These youngsters cost a considerable transfer fee due to their exceptional potential.

There is always cut-throat competition between elite European clubs in signing the best players. When it comes to young players, it is an even more challenging market. It is rare to see players showing world-class qualities even before they are out of their teenage. When such players are scouted, there is a race to sign them. More often than not, gifted youngsters get clubs to spend colossal transfer fees for them, banking on their future potential.

FC Bayern Munich is one of the clubs that is quick in identifying young talent. The club has recently acquired the services of Mathys Tel for a huge sum. He is considered a major talent for the future and the German powerhouse did not hesitate to splash in order to secure him.

This transfer move brings to light all the young U17 players that cost a lot of money. Here is a look at the top 10 most expensive U17 transfers in football.

10. Marco Cruz - €11m

Marco Cruz is an upcoming talent in Portugal, a popular breeding ground of highly-exciting young midfielders. The youngster was signed by the Sporting CP U19 side for €11m from FC Porto U19. He is a regular for the youth national team.  

9. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - €13.8m

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Oxlade-Chamberlain made a total of 198 appearances for Arsenal (Courtesy: Arsenal)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed for Arsenal after impressing for Southampton’s developmental team and the senior side. The Gunners saw the potential in him and paid a whopping €13.8m for his signature. His career was unfortunately marred with injuries which played a role in hindering him from realising his full potential. Having said that, the midfielder won multiple titles with Arsenal and Liverpool.

8. Gareth Bale - €14.7m

Gareth Bale began his career as a left-back, but his performances quickly made it clear he was made for bigger things. Tottenham Hotspur realized this early and paid €14.7m to Southampton to recruit the Welshman. Fast forward, Bale is a five-time UEFA Champions League winner with Real Madrid. 

7. Pedri - €17.5m

Pedri is easily one of the most promising players in world football at the moment. FC Barcelona wasted no time in securing the Spaniard by paying €17.5m to UD Las Palmas. Pedri’s meteoric rise can be summed up by his current market value which stands at €80m.

6. Willem Geubbels - €20m

Willem Geubbels
Willem Geubbels spend the last season on loan at FC Nantes (Courtesy: AS Monaco)

Back in 2018, Olympique Lyonnais received a €20m fee from AS Monaco for Willem Geubbels. The winger had tons of potential and was regarded as the next big superstar in French football. However, such a reputation put a lot of pressure on the player. He had to spend last season on a loan to Nantes and AS Monaco is hoping that their investment will bear fruit sometime in future. He only has three goals in 39 Ligue 1 appearances at the moment.

5. Mathys Tel - €20m

Mathys Tel is the latest entrant in the list of most expensive U17 transfers. The youngster has joined FC Bayern Munich from Stade Rennais for €20m. Furthermore, the €8m add-ons in addition to the €20m make him the most expensive U17 transfer of all time. It will be interesting to see how Tel develops at the Bundesliga club.

4. Jadon Sancho - €20.50m

Jadon Sancho
Sancho moved from Dortmund to Manchester United in the summer of 2021 (Courtesy: EUROsport)

Jadon Sancho was one of the most highly-rated English youngsters when he joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City. The Bundesliga outfit has a knack for identifying young talent and developing them into superstars. Sancho arrived in Germany after a €20.5m move back in 2017. Later, Sancho joined Manchester United for €85m, making Dortmund a huge profit. 

3. Pietro Pellegri - €21m

Not all investments in exceptional young players with potential go according to plan. AS Monaco’s second high-profile failure was Pietro Pellegri, for whom the club splashed €21m. The striker underwent loan spells at AC Milan and Torino, with a lack of gametime available at the parent club. Now, he has permanently signed for Torino for a €5m and will be looking to rekindle his career in Italy.  

2. Alexander Pato - €24m

Alexander Pato was highly-rated and had incredible potential. Many tipped him to become one of the best players of his generation. AC Milan caught the hype and paid €24m for his services to Internacional in Brazil. Despite showing good signs early on, Pato’s reputation got the better of him soon. Injuries and high expectations became huge obstacles for the striker who currently plays in the MLS for Orlando City. 

1. Jude Bellingham - €25m

When it comes to fees paid upfront, the €25m Borussia Dortmund paid for Jude Bellingham is the highest amount for a U17 player. The highly-rated young midfielder arrived from Birmingham City. There was a huge auction for him, with clubs like Manchester United wanting to recruit the superstar of today and tomorrow. He is a regular for England and Borussia Dortmund and will certainly make the club a huge profit when they sell him in the future. 

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