Pietro Pellegri – The record breaking 16 year-old
Posted on 02nd February 2018
Plenty of money was spent during the January transfer window, with established players like Coutinho, Van Dijk, Sanchez, Aubameyang and Laporte all making moves, but in many ways the most eye catching deal of all was a record breaking transfer involving a 16 year-old with fewer than 10 top flight appearances.
Pietro Pellegri left Genoa to join French Champions Monaco for a fee believed to be around 20 million Euros, becoming the most expensive 16 year-old of all time.
The powerful striker first made headlines in December 2016 when he became the joint youngest player to feature in Serie A at the age of 15 years and 280 days. Pellegri scored his first senior goal at the end of that season, becoming the first player born in the 21st Century to score in Serie A.
Leaving his hometown club at such a tender age is a gamble, but Monaco have a fine track record with young forwards and Pellegri will be hoping the move can take his game to the next level in the way it did for fellow youngsters Anthony Martial and Kylian Mbappé who both used their time in the Principality to announce themselves on the World stage.
Physically imposing for his age, Pellegri has earned comparisons to his idol Zlatan Ibrahimović with the way he can bully defenders with his strength and power, and the youngster will be able to learn from one of the best goalscorers around with Radamel Falcao as his captain and teammate.
Fellow Italian Marco Verratti moved to Ligue 1 at an early age and has since established himself as a star at Paris Saint-Germain and a key member of the Italian National Team. Pellegri will be hoping his move to the Stade Louis II can have a similar transformative effect on his career.