The Manchester City tractor beam has proved irresistible to English youngsters in recent days, with Fulham teenager Patrick Roberts the Citizens’ third signing of domestically-schooled talents this week.
He joins Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph at the Etihad after completing an £11m switch from the west London outfit.
City’s recent outlay has done little to alter their title chances, with a price of 11/4 saying their reinvigorated squad reclaims the Premier League title from Chelsea.
Winger Roberts is widely regarded as future England international, hence the sizeable sum, but his contribution at Fulham thus far has not been one of a player worthy of an eight-figure splurge.
It means he has overhauled Connor Wickham as the eighth most expensive teenager ever bought by an English outfit and the fortunes of the seven tyros who weigh in ahead of him aren’t especially encouraging from a City perspective.
With the exception of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, none of the costly septet have gone on to justify the exorbitant transfer fees with the clubs who forked out the cash.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cost Arsenal £12m in the summer of 2011, though he is still some way from nailing down a place in the Gunners’ midfield thanks to an uncanny ability to suffer injury whenever a good run of form is happened across.
At £16m, John Obi Mikel was almost £4m more expensive than Ronaldo and, while the Nigeria anchorman has gone on to win ample trophies and feature regularly for Chelsea, the bit-part nature of his Stamford Bridge stint underpins how the Blues were ripped off.
Romelu Lukaku, signed by the Stamford Bridge club for £18m, never scored for Jose Mourinho’s men before being sold. The £10m profit he generated courtesy of his exploits on loan elsewhere.
Manchester United’s outlook on £20m Anderson is the less said, the better after a disastrous seven-year tenure at Old Trafford, leaving only the granddaddy of them all to discuss, Luke Shaw.
The Southampton scholar is the most expensive teenager in Premier League history at £27m.
He could well justify the outlay in years to come, but his first season with the Red Devils wasn’t one to remember, with questions regarding his weight, fitness and form repeatedly asked.
Akin to Shaw, it may take some time for Roberts to vindicate his expensive acquisition too.
At Fulham he wasn’t a regular in what was a below-average second tier team last season, managing just 356 minutes on the field and unable to find the net in that time.