Another summer is on its way out with Arsenal barely making a splash in the transfer market. Once again it looks like Arsenal will be relying on youth this season. It got me thinking — are Arsenal really good at producing players from their youth academy who are capable of playing in the Premier League?
To answer this question, I decided to look at the youth teams of players in the Premier League. The data is from Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt. I’ve tried to correct the blatantly wrong stuff or unconfirmed rumors. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is close enough to give us a good picture of what’s going on. At the bottom of the page is an interactive dashboard you can play around with to explore the data on your own (click on the tabs, hover over the graphs for more info, etc), but below are some of the major discoveries:
- Arsenal are tops in their own youth academy graduates on their roster as well as players who signed before the turned 21
- The minority of players that graduated from Arsenal’s youth team to their full squad were born in England
- Arsenal doesn’t recruit much talent from other teams’ academies. Henri Lansbury is the only current Arsenal player to have attended another Premier League team’s academy and that was before he was 9.
- Arsenal are also tops in the number of players that have played outside of England. Their top 3 preferred countries are France, Spain and The Netherlands.
- Manchester United are the top exporters of talent from their academy and Wolves are the top importers of talent from others’ academies
- Fulham don’t appear to invest much in youth. None of their academy players are currently playing for the full team and only one member of their squad signed for Fulham before they turned 21.
There’s loads more interesting stuff contained in the dashboard below. If it fails to load, you can access it by clicking here.