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Premier League: Does your club give youth a chance?

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Premier League

When trophies are at stake and relegation costs millions, giving young players a chance can be seen as too much of a gamble.

One Premier League club has yet to field a player aged 22 or under this season, however another has shown an unrivalled faith in youth.

BBC Sport has researched how all 20 Premier League clubs have used - or not used - players aged 22 or under this season. Here are our findings.

Foxes lead the way

Claude Puel may be the bookmakers' favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job, but the Leicester boss perhaps deserves some leeway given the faith he has placed in the club's youngsters.

The Frenchman has given more minutes to more young players than anyone else in the division. In total Puel has given 8,373 minutes to eight Foxes players aged 22 or under this season, nearly double that of the next highest - Arsenal, with 4,467 minutes.

Next on the list is Marco Silva's Everton, whose young players have played 4,455 minutes in the Premier League so far this campaign.

West Ham are fourth on the list with 4,134 minutes afforded to their youngsters, with London rivals Tottenham making up the top five with 4,083 minutes between seven players.

With Leicester leading the way, it is little surprise that it is two young Foxes players who have played the most minutes so far. Wilfred Ndidi has featured in all but one of Leicester's games, playing 2,038 minutes in total. Team-mate Ben Chilwell has also missed just one league game and is second on the list, seeing 1,980 minutes of action.

Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is just behind the Leicester duo, playing 1,965 minutes so far. West Ham defender Issa Diop (1,890) and Huddersfield's Phillip Billing (1,842) complete the top five.

Cardiff rely on experience

In contrast to the youthful looking line-up we have seen at the King Power Stadium this season, Cardiff prop up the table having failed to give a single minute to a player aged 22 and under so far.

The youngest player to feature for the Bluebirds in the Premier League this season is Josh Murphy, who turned 23 last February. Boss Neil Warnock clearly feels experience gives his team the best chance of avoiding relegation this season.

Like Warnock, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri also favours older players. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen are the only Blues players aged 22 or under to play in the Premier League this season, totalling just 151 minutes.

Next up are Watford, with Domingos Quina and Ben Wilmot playing 296 minutes of action between them this season. Burnley (440) and Brighton (863) complete the bottom five.

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47016796

 

 

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I don't think there's any major revelations here we're not already aware of.

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2 hours ago, Lucas said:

I don't think there's any major revelations here we're not already aware of.

Yeah could have guessed we were first. Puel loves giving youth chances - Choudhury, Ndidi, Chilwell, Maddison and more recently Barnes, have all been given game-time. Chilwell especially been an ever-present pretty much in the league I think. It's one thing you can't fault him on. He was famed for youth development at Southampton and it's no different here. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Stan said:

Yeah could have guessed we were first. Puel loves giving youth chances - Choudhury, Ndidi, Chilwell, Maddison and more recently Barnes, have all been given game-time. Chilwell especially been an ever-present pretty much in the league I think. It's one thing you can't fault him on. He was famed for youth development at Southampton and it's no different here. 

 

Was he?!

Think this is a bit of a reach Stan xD Not sure he was famed for anything

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7 minutes ago, Storts said:

Was he?!

Think this is a bit of a reach Stan xD Not sure he was famed for anything

Well perhaps it was the thing he was most renowned for there, then. Gave a lot of chances and opportunities to youth players there.

Not to mention he's got a good record of players in France who he helped develop anyway - Henry and Hazard being two main ones.

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Southampton ended up with Puel in the first place because they did a lot of research into their managers and whether they fit their framework, and Southampton were big on youth development which is why I think he got the job, helped that he'd just had a very decent season with OGC Nice as well.

I say this like plenty don't properly research their managers - sadly I can totally believe that. That's how people like Mark Hughes still end up in jobs, granted a terrible example given he's just been sacked by Southampton but I think they've gone to bits behind the scenes.

Our numbers are very impressive and something I've wanted to see more from us, but I am of the belief that this should gradually come down then remain steady at a slightly lower figure - my reason is that this period should be about laying the foundations and then the likes of Maddison, Chilwell etc... hopefully develop as we go on, and of course in that period they get older. I always want us introducing youngsters when we can but I think having a constant team of youngsters is just asking for trouble too, if this makes sense to anybody.

There's a lot I can criticise Puel for but the opportunities he hands to younger players isn't one of them. Even if a few of them were already here before him he has given them plenty of chances. Suppose it's easy to forget how young players like Ndidi are too. Exciting times for us if we handle this next couple of years right and see some improvement in individuals.

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No. It really annoys me and it is my only criticism of CPFC2010. 

Under Simon Jordan's tenure we have produced Victor Moses, Nathaniel Clyne, Wilfried Zaha and Ben Watson amongst others. The only notable player that has progressed since is Aaron Wan Bissaka who only got his opportunity when we have 13 or so injuries.

It's frustrating because as a fan base we really get behind people that get the club. Josh Maja for example would have been loved and cherished being a Croydon lad who went to the other end of the country to make it as a professional footballer, but Roy publicly says he's never heard of him and he ends up in France.

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On a sidenote, we've played 8864 minutes to date using players aged 22 and under so far this season.

This is partly because we have a wafer thin squad and suffered the worst bout of injuries I've known for us in a singular season. But also because Bielsa likes to place faith in the academy and because he has, we've seen some great talent coming through, most notably Jack Clarke who is already being heavily scouted by PL sides.

Sometimes when your hand is forced and you play the youth, that's when you unearth gem's from right under your nose.

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7 minutes ago, Lucas said:

On a sidenote, we've played 8864 minutes to date using players aged 22 and under so far this season.

This is partly because we have a wafer thin squad and suffered the worst bout of injuries I've known for us in a singular season. But also because Bielsa likes to place faith in the academy and because he has, we've seen some great talent coming through, most notably Jack Clarke who is already being heavily scouted by PL sides.

Sometimes when your hand is forced and you play the youth, that's when you unearth gem's from right under your nose.

Get out of our section please

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It used to for quite a long time. Pretty soon we'll be as completely devoid of identity as Citeh or Chelsea

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11 minutes ago, LFCMike said:

Stuck it in when it went to penalties. Some great penalties there

Yeah I was thinking the same. Most of them were unsavable for any keeper. Felt a bit sorry for the man city players especially the one who missed. That is a lot to handle at that age

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On 04/02/2019 at 17:52, Salford Kel said:

It used to for quite a long time. Pretty soon we'll be as completely devoid of identity as Citeh or Chelsea

You are completely devoid of identity, you play in Trafford Borough but call yourself Manchester then 90% of your match going supporters arrive by trains from down south 🤣

 

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I think most of our minutes are called Trent Alexander Arnold.

Besides him and Gomez there isn't much room in our squad for young homegrown talent.

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Two academy graduates started against Arsenal. Three of them on the pitch for the second half that we won 3-0.

Fucking superb stuff.

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