Last season we worked out the origin of Premier League match-day squads and it proved to be a popular talking point so we've done it all again. The aim is to see which clubs produce the most top flight players through their youth system, we only count genuine youth system products and not those brought in at a young age.
For the last round of games in the top flight we counted all the starting players and those on the bench - these are players actually being used in match-day squads in the primary competition so it's the best way we can think of being fair, we have no doubt that some will disagree.
The rules for allocating individual players to clubs were quite strict, the general rule was they had to have spent the majority of their youth development at the football team and not have been purchased for relatively large fees. For example, neither of the Da Silva twins counted for Manchester United and Raheem Sterling counts as QPR given that Liverpool paid £600,000 for him which has the potential to rise to £5m.
We had to be objective and therefore people will disagree on some choices.
Manchester United came out on top with 14 players (you can read about that here), Aston Villa and West Ham are both known to have very good youth systems and they completed the top three teams. A surprise in the listings is that next came Manchester City who benefit in these rankings from having a long standing commitment to youth.
They had an impressive 7 players allocated to them, which was more than double what Chelsea had and easily beat Arsenal who enjoy a greater reputation as producers of players.
Manchester City's list is:
Places 6-9 were taken up by Middlesbrough, Southampton, Everton and Leeds United and then Tottenham came in having been allocated 5 players.
Tottenham's list is:
Arsenal will be disappointed that they failed to trouble the top of the charts and their list is:
This is something we plan to do several times throughout the season and as people inevitably protest at choices, we may change some selections based on what we're informed. But right now, the top ten producers stands at:
Why hasn't Wilshere been included in that list? Prior to his injury he was in the squad and has been at Arsenal since he was 9. Same with Frimpong.
And if you're gonna count players that dont play at the club anymore, then what about Jay Emmanuel-Thomas at Ipswich or Lansbury at N.Forest. Does David Bentley not count?? Was Tony Adams not a youth team player that made the step up???
Dylan, it's often best to read an article before ranting about it. Wilshere didn't play, neither did Frimpong. This is based on players who are actually involved in match-day squads, the fairest way we thought to do it.
City lose out on that too, Micah Richards for example. Neither Ipswich or Notttingham Forest are in the Premier League and as the very first sentence of the article points out - this is about players in the Premier League.
Regarding Tony Adams, hate to be the one to have to tell you - but he retired from football around 10 years ago.
Guess that's what I get for skimming the article...
The United list should be higher. John O'Shea came to United at 16...the same age as Darren Fletcher. The rules for school release are different in Ireland and Scotland so the earliest a player can leave is 16. Neither of those two players played for anyone else prior to joining United. O'Shea player for Waterford Boys Club which is a junior club in Ireland. This was all pre Academy so the system was different then.
Additionally, Kieran Richardson joined United from West Ham at 14 years old. He was at West Ham from 10-14. So West Ham had him for four years and United four years before end of FA age qualifications. (you can play in FA Youth Cup up until you are 18 and no older)...so surely he should be in both teams Academy figures.
Not including Cup appearances, I make it 23 United players currently on the books of Premiership clubs and who have made league debuts. Gibson, Neville, Simpson, Fox, Shawcross, Campbell, O'Shea, Brown, Bardsley, Tate, Morrison, Jones, Pollitt, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Keane, Cleverley, Evans, Welbeck, Amos, Macheda, Higginbotham.....you could add Richardson based on data above. Additionally Luke Daniels of West Brom and Michael Tonge were both products of United's Academy before moving on.
So I make it 26 players in total. While they may not all play on match day I would be surprised if any other team has so many.