RB Leipzig, Real Madrid, OL and Man Utd lead way with youth

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April 30 – Player recruitment can either define a club’s future or be a short term fix. An analysis by the CIES Football Observatory looks at the average of players recruited in 24 European top divisions, not including academy graduates.

Players included in the analysis had to have actually been on the pitch this season.

When it comes to investing in youth, Germany’s RB Leipzig and Spain’s Real Madrid rank the highest in the Big 5 leagues for giving youth a chance, with a recruitment average age of 21.43 years and 21.95.

“The second and third lowest values for age at recruitment at big-5 league level were registered for two other teams with a transfer strategy clearly focused on the signing of young talents: Real Madrid (21.95 years on average) and Olympique Lyonnais (22.64 years). Many other very competitive teams are in the top 20 positions of the rankings. At the opposite end of the table is Parma (27.35 years),” say the report authors.

In the other Big 5 European leagues Man Utd top the English clubs at seventh place while not a single Italian club ranks in the top 20 of youngest players recruited.

For the full table go to http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2018/260/en/

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1590802270labto1590802270ofdlr1590802270owedi1590802270sni@n1590802270osloh1590802270cin.l1590802270uap1590802270