Red Bull gives young players wings. Athletic Club and Liverpool head Big 5  ranking of youngest players recruited

Red Bulls

March 28 – Red Bull clubs lead the way as the recruiters of the youngest players in world football, according to CIES Football Observatory data that examines the average age of players signed over the last ten transfer windows.

The Red Bull strategy is clear for all to see, with Austria-based division RB Salzburg and Brazil-based RB Bragantino taking up the top two spots on the podium, with recruitment ages of 20.93 and 21.72 respectively.

Interestingly, Red Bull Leipzig topped the list for the 2014-2019 period.

LaLiga’s Athletic Club place in third, leading the Europe’s big five leagues, which makes sense following their transfer strategy of only recruiting young talent from the Basque region of Spain.

Liverpool sit top of the Premier League chart with an average recruitment age of 22 since 2019. For the past five years, most of Liverpool’s signings have been youth players to eventually replace the then-champions league winning squad which was rich with talent, with many of the players still in the squad today.

On the flip side, Inter have the oldest recruitment age in the Big 5 leagues at 28-years-old, representing their business strategy of utilising more experienced players for shorter lengths of time, such as veteran defender Francesco Acerbi and goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Unsurprisingly, the report suggests that the majority of teams recruiting older players are based in Qatar, China and Brazil, who are known for bringing in players at the end of their peak in Europe, either for one last pay-day or in Brazil’s case a long-awaited return to home soil.

Qatari side Al-Gharafa sit rock bottom of the table as the only team across any of the 48 leagues with an average recruitment age of over 30.

To see the full rankings, click here.

Contact the writer of this report, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1711635109labto1711635109ofdlr1711635109owedi1711635109sni@g1711635109niwe.1711635109yrrah1711635109