Most expensive uncapped players
It was another busy summer for major clubs around Europe, particularly as the Premier League closed their transfer window before the start of the season for the first time.
Fees continue to increase year upon year, so much so that sizeable price tags are now placed on players who haven't even represented their country at senior level. In this slideshow, we reveal the 15 most expensive uncapped footballers in the world...
15. Paulinho, £16.65m (Vasco da Gama to Bayer Leverkusen)Brazil's production line of wide attackers shows few signs of slowing down any time soon. Paulinho is yet another to emerge in the last 18 months, making his debut for Rio de Janeiro-based Vasco da Gama in 2017 and later earning a £16.65m switch to Bayer Leverkusen before the start of the current European campaign.
It's been a rapid rise for the 18-year-old, who's played 21 times for Brazil's under-17s but never for the U20 side. Barring a brilliant season in the Bundesliga, Paulinho is unlikely to make a step up to the senior squad before next summer's Copa America on home soil.
14. Gerard Moreno, £18m (Espanyol to Villarreal)
Gerard scored 10 goals in 40 La Liga appearances for Villarreal in a three-year spell, but the Yellow Submarine were happy to sell when Espanyol submitted an offer to buy 50% of his rights for just £1.35m in 2015.
Sixteen goals for the Catalan club in 2017/18 convinced his former side that they'd made a mistake, so the striker returned to El Madrigal after an £18m deal which again involved Villarreal purchasing half of his rights. Capped three times by Catalonia, who aren't recognised by either FIFA or UEFA, Gerard has never turned out for the Spain national team.
13. Guido Carrillo, £19.1m (Monaco to Southampton)
Southampton struggled for goals in the first half of the 2017/18 season, so the board sanctioned a £19.1m move – an all-time record fee for the south coast club – for Monaco striker Carrillo in the January window. Unfortunately for boss Mauricio Pellegrino, his fellow Argentine failed to score in nine appearances as Saints flirted with the drop.
Carrillo was promptly shipped off on loan to a Pellegrino-managed Leganes in the summer, and his struggles at St Mary’s have likely pushed him even further down the Albiceleste pecking order.
12. Alassane Plea, £20.7m (Nice to Borussia Monchengladbach)
Plea suffered a slow start to life at Nice following his 2014 move from Lyon, but his final two seasons at the club convinced Borussia Monchengladbach that he was worth the £20.7m investment. The Frenchman scored 21 goals in all competitions for Lucien Favre’s men last term, but even that impressive tally wasn’t enough to earn him international recognition.
Perhaps that isn’t too much of a surprise when you consider the attacking options at Didier Deschamps’ disposal; Anthony Martial, after all, was left out of France’s World Cup squad to no ill effect.
11. James Maddison, £22m (Norwich to Leicester)
Maddison isn’t exactly the same type of player as Riyad Mahrez, but Leicester’s new recruit is being expected to fill the creative void left by the Algerian. The 21-year-old was a rare bright spot in an underwhelming campaign for Norwich in 2017/18, scoring 14 goals and setting up eight more to secure a switch to the top flight.
There’s plenty of optimism for the future following England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals, and Maddison will hope to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s thinking in the next few months. It seems only a matter of time.
10. Issa Diop, £22m (Toulouse to West Ham)
West Ham spent big in the summer transfer market, splashing £99m – more than all but four of their Premier League rivals – on new additions. Diop was the second-most expensive at £22m, but at 21 years of age the Hammers will hope they’ve got themselves a bargain.
The 6ft 4in stopper earned numerous plaudits for his performances for Toulouse after making his first-team breakthrough in 2015/16. Currently a France U21 international, Diop is also eligible for Senegal and Morocco.
9. Theo Hernandez, £22.8m (Atletico Madrid to Real Madrid)
Hernandez moved across the Spanish capital in 2017, swapping Atletico Madrid for Real Madrid before he’d played a first-team game for the Colchoneros. The left-back featured in 23 matches for Zinedine Zidane’s charges last term, before agreeing a loan switch to Real Sociedad ahead of the 2018/19 season.
A three-time France U20 international, the youngster will have to compete with Benjamin Mendy and brother Lucas for a place in the senior squad. Regular football with la Real will no doubt aid his cause.
8. Abdou Diallo, £24.8m (Mainz to Dortmund)
After a successful debut campaign in Germany with Mainz in 2017/18, Diallo earned himself a £24.8m move to Borussia Dortmund this summer. The defender is BVB’s second-most expensive signing of all time, ahead of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Andriy Yarmolenko, and behind only Andre Schurrle.
Diallo’s future international prospects look promising: he currently captains France’s U21 side and previously played for five different age-group teams. Born to a Senegalese father, the centre-half could even switch allegiance if a Les Bleus call-up isn’t forthcoming.
7. Fabian Ruiz, £26.6m (Real Betis to Napoli)
Spain may have underwhelmed in each of their last three tournament appearances, but they still possess incredible strength in depth, particularly in the centre of the park. Long-serving stalwarts Andres Iniesta and David Silva have now retired from international duty, however, so Ruiz will hope he’s given a chance to show what he can do by new manager Luis Enrique.
The 22-year-old signed for Napoli in July, penning a five-year deal after the Partenopei triggered his £26.6m release clause. Having played five games for the under-21s, Ruiz could make the step up to the full national team before the current campaign is out.
6. Anthony Modeste, £31.3m (Koln to Tianjin Quanjian)
Former Blackburn striker Modeste was a reported target for several Premier League sides following his goalscoring exploits in 2016/17, when he made the net bulge 27 times in 37 outings for Bundesliga outfit Koln.
The centre-forward was indeed on the move at the end of the campaign, but China – not England – was his destination as Tianjin Quanjian spent £31.3m on his signature. Now 30 years old, it’s hard to see Modeste ever making a senior appearance for his native France.
5. Clement Lenglet, £32m (Sevilla to Barcelona)
Another young French defender who’s yet to pull on the famous blue jersey at senior level, Lenglet’s international prospects were boosted when he joined Barcelona from Sevilla for £32m this summer.
The centre-back first moved to La Liga from Ligue 1 side Nancy in January 2017, quickly establishing himself as a key man in the heart of the Rojiblancos defence. He made further strides last term as Sevilla finished seventh and reached the last eight of the Champions League, prompting Barcelona to pay his release clause this summer.
4. Malcom, £36.5m (Bordeaux to Barcelona)
Malcom was on the verge of joining Roma earlier this summer, with excited Giallorossi supporters even gathering at the airport to welcome the Brazilian to Italy. Barcelona intervened at the last minute, though, paying £36.5m to bring the Bordeaux forward to the Camp Nou.
Malcom scored 12 goals and provided seven assists for Bordeaux in 2017/18 and will likely be competing with Ousmane Dembele for a starting spot under Ernesto Valverde. If the winger impresses in La Liga, his Brazil debut will be just around the corner.
3. Alex Teixeira, £38.5m (Shakhtar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning)
Heavily linked with a transfer to Liverpool, Teixeira instead left Shakhtar Donetsk for Jiangsu Suning in January 2016, the Chinese club spending £38.5m on his services. Not only did the transfer take the forward away from Europe in his mid-20s, it also damaged his chances of earning a first call-up to the Brazil senior squad.
Playing in China hasn’t prevented Paulinho and Renato Augusto from appearing for the Selecao, but – unlike Teixeira – the midfield pair were already established in the national team setup before their moves to Asia.
2. Vinicius Junior, £38.7m (Flamengo to Real Madrid)
Born in July 2000, Vinicius was just 16 when Real Madrid agreed a £38.7m move to bring him to the Spanish capital on his 18th birthday. When the agreement was struck, the Flamengo forward hadn’t even played for Brazil’s U20s, although he did star as the Selecao won the Under-15 South American Championship in 2015 and the Under-17 equivalent two years later.
Vinicius is unlikely to be a regular starter for Madrid this year, but he’ll gain invaluable experience from any first-team minutes he’s afforded by Julen Lopetegui. Brazil are blessed with numerous wide forwards, but it surely won’t be long before the teenager is given a taster by Tite.
1. Aymeric Laporte, £57.2m (Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez became Manchester City’s all-time record signing when he joined the Premier League champions from Leicester for £61m this summer, pushing January arrival Laporte into second spot. Yet whereas the Algerian has pulled on his country’s national jersey 39 times, his new colleague has yet to win an international cap for France.
Eligible for both Les Bleus and Spain, the centre-half has represented the former at under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 level without ever turning out for the senior side. “I was jealous to be honest,” Laporte responded when asked how it felt watching his countrymen lift the World Cup trophy in July.
Lists, Guido Carrillo, Monaco, Southampton, Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City, Athletic Club, Richarlison, Alex Teixeira, Anthony Modeste, James Maddison, Clément Lenglet, Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira, Vinicius Junior, Abdou Diallo, Issa Diop, Alassane Plea, Theo Hernandez, Everton, Watford, Jiangsu Suning, Shakhtar Donetsk, Tianjin Quanjian, Köln, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Flamengo, Borussia Dortmund, Mainz 05, Toulouse, Nice, West Ham United, Sevilla, Borussia M'gladbach, Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen