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For some players, age is no barrier. There are stars who burst onto the scene at an early age and look the finished product already.
Take Michael Owen – who doesn't make it onto today's list, given that he was well into his 20s by the time he left Liverpool. It was scarcely believable that he was only 18 back in 1998, scoring that wonder goal against Argentina with a squad number on his back higher than his tender years.
The value of such prodigies has only risen in recent years. The most expensive players to buy right now? They aren't a Messi or a Lewandowski, with all due respect to those two. They're a Foden or a Saka.
Plenty of footballers have made the definitive move before they turn 20 and this list is a compendium of great players and… not so good ones. But who's on it?
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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