Football

Top five: Most valuable teenage footballers

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Sterling was a regular fixture in Liverpool's side last season. (©GettyImages)
Sterling was a regular fixture in Liverpool's side last season. (©GettyImages).

Spending big money on a teenager is risky - just ask Barcelona, who spent £31.5m On Javier Saviola before being released on a free transfer.

However, sometimes it can pay off; Wayne Rooney cost Manchester United £32.5m but is now worth an estimated £57m.

Here we take a look at the five most valuable teenagers at the moment according to transfermarkt.

5. Raheem Sterling | Liverpool | £10m

At 18, the Englishman is the youngest player to appear in the top five courtesy of his breakthrough season with Liverpool. Making 36 appearances mostly in the first half of the season, Sterling caught the eye of Roy Hodgson who handed him his first cap in November.

4. Mateo Kovacic | Inter Milan | £10.5m

The Croat made his big move to Inter in January for a fee of around £10m having been heavily scouted by Arsenal. Kovacic’s playing style has been likened to that of fellow Dinamo Zagreb youth academy graduate Luka Modric and he has impressed since his move making 18 appearances in the second half of the season alone.

=3. Gerard Deulofeu | FC Barcelona | £13m

As a product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia youth academy, Deulofeu possesses incredible trickery pace and has a beautiful touch. He has been prolific in front of goal for Barcelona’s second team Barcelona B and has been offered a full contract with the full-team ahead of the 2013-2014 campaign.

=3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | Arsenal | £13m

“The Ox” cost Arsenal £12m back in 2011, and he arrived at the Emirates as a fresh faced 17-year-old. Since then has made an impression as a fan favourite with both Arsenal and the England national team thanks to his direct playing style and raw pace. He has made 12 full international caps scoring 3 goals.

1. Julian Draxler | FC Schalke | £15m                    

Germany’s latest teenage starlet Draxler is one of Schalke’s key players, and scored 13 goals last season. He has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea recently, although a price tag set at €38m by his club which conveys their desire to keep their starlet, could put potential suitors off.

 

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