Mbappe, Donarumma, Sessegnon and Sancho make case for youth in an old man’s game

February 20 – Data looking at how much playing time young players born 1988 and later are getting in Europe’s top leagues show very are getting experience in the Big 5 and the France and Spain providing the most opportunity for development.

There are exceptions with Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon and Borussia Dortmind’s Jadon Sancho (pictured) heading the rankings for players born in 2000, while PSG’s Kylian Mbappe heads the top of 1998-born players ahead of Houssem Aouar from Olympique Lyonnais and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Milan’s breakthrough goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma heads the ranking of players born 1999.

Of the 80 players ranked across the four year groups, 11 play at French clubs, and 11 at Spanish and 11 in Germany. In contrast there are only seven at English clubs and just four at Italian clubs.

The data looked at young players from 22 European competitions, weighting domestic league minutes played during the last two years according to the sporting strength of employer teams.

See the full report at

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