Liverpool’s Curtis Jones proved if you’re good enough, you’re old enough on Sunday night.
Jurgen Klopp fielded a youthful line-up for the Reds’ third-round tie with Everton and Jones stood out from the pack, scoring the winning goal on 70 minutes with a superb long-range strike.
Although breaking into the Premier League fold might be a little ambitious at this early stage, the 18-year-old did more than enough to prove he could be a future starter at Anfield.
And it was a performance that came in a season of fine displays from young players across English football with the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Greenwood also shining.
Bearing that in mind, we decided to take Jones’ Merseyside Derby winner as inspiration for looking at the most valuable teenagers currently on the books for Premier League sides.
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20 most valuable teenagers
Using the riches of data at Transfermarkt, we counted down the top 20 under-20 players by their estimated transfer value. Check out the full breakdown below:
20. Filip Stuparevic (Watford) – £900,000
As you can imagine at under £1 million, there’s still a lot of conclusions to be drawn about Stuparevic, even if Watford fans will keeping close tabs on the Serbian striker’s progress.
19. Curtis Jones (Liverpool) – £1.8 million
The man himself. It might come as a surprise that Jones has only made four senior appearances, but who cares when the most recent one produced a winning goal in the Merseyside Derby?
18. Michael Obafemi (Southampton) – £2.25 million
Southampton have always taken great pride in their academy and Obafemi is already doing enough on the south coast to score twice and earn himself an Ireland call-up.
17. Goncalo Cardoso (West Ham United) – £2.25 million
Considering we haven’t seen Cardoso play a minute of competitive football for West Ham yet, this valuation seems to be riding off the hype he generated at Boavista last season.
16. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) – £2.7 million
Nobody is disputing Smith Rowe’s ability, it’s just a little disappointing that he seems to have moved backwards after a breakthrough season which saw three goals in six outings.
15. Aaron Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion) – £4.05 million
We haven’t seen enough of Connolly to get too carried away at this stage, but his performance in the 3-0 win over Tottenham is enough to get Brighton fans dreaming of the possibilities.
14. Jack Clarke (Tottenham Hotspur) – £5.4 million
Spurs supporters will have to hope Clarke gets a fair crack of the whip in north London after his loan spell with Leeds – despite flying in 2018-19 – was cut short after just three appearances.
13. Brandon Williams (Manchester United) – £6.3 million
Williams has been one of many youngsters to benefit from the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era and his recent display in the FA Cup has led many fans to think he should be picked over Luke Shaw.
12. Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – £6.3 million
Neto didn’t exactly hit the ground running at Molineux, but the Portuguese is slowly starting to impress Nuno Espirito Santo and a goal against Watford will definitely help his case.
11. Eric Garcia (Manchester City) – £6.3 million
Need we explain Garcia’s position beyond the fact Pep Guardiola said he reminded him of Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets? I didn’t think so, either.
10. Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur) – £7.2 million
While there’s no disputing Skipp’s potential, there are real question marks over his future after Jose Mourinho failed to give him a single minute in the Spurs midfield over the festive period.
9. Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – £7.2 million
Things haven’t been plain sailing for Gibbs-White this season, even though he already has over a half-century of caps for Wolves, but he can expect a spike in game-time with time.
8. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) – £11.7 million
There are plenty of things you can criticise Unai Emery for, but giving 17 appearances – rewarded with two goals – to one of Arsenal’s most exciting talents certainly isn’t one of them.
7. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – £16.2 million
Eight goals in 18 outings is pretty incredible when you consider Arsenal’s plight this season, never mind the fact Klopp named him a ‘talent of the century’ after scoring a brace at Anfield.
6. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) – £18.0 million
You know you’re special when you’re reminding people of Robin van Persie and eight goals during his first season regularly in the senior side means those comparisons are justified.
5. Joao Pedro (Watford) – £18.0 million
If you’re wondering who we’re on about here, kindly remember that the highly-rated Brazilian – who scored 10 goals in 37 Fluminese games – has arrived at Vicarage Road this month.
4. Phil Foden (Manchester City) – £27.0 million
The fact Foden has made 54 appearances and scored 10 goals in a squad of galactic quality managed by Guardiola when he’s just 19 years old is nothing short of astonishing.
3. Moise Kean (Everton) – £28.8 million
Hmm. Kean has arguably been the worst Premier League signing of the season, but his promising form at Juventus last season has clearly been enough to keep him on the podium.
2. Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) – £31.5 million
Surprisingly, things have actually slowed down for Hudson-Odoi this season, but his thrilling displays out wide for Chelsea are still far beyond expectations for a 19-year-old prospect.
1. Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur) – £31.5 million
Mourinho is starting to invest his faith in Sessegnon and both his goal against Bayern Munich as well as his superb 2017/18 season show the Spurs boss has every right to.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
There can be no doubting the lad’s talent – he’s still only 19 years old, by the way – but his first one and half seasons in the Premier League have done little to suggest he should be number one.
Hudson-Odoi seems the fairer choice for top spot, although the Bayern Munich interest has surely inflated the estimate, while Foden arguably has the most potential of anyone on the list.
But perhaps the most interesting trio come in the mid-pack. Keep your eyes on Greenwood, Martinelli and Pedro who are almost guaranteed to rise in value over the coming months.
However, if you take nothing else from the calculations, let it be known that serious money could be parted with for top Premier League talent before they’ve even entered their twenties.