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Who Has The Best Academies In Europe?

The interesting tweet from ‏@giggs_boson over the weekend that shows the average number of academy players used in starting 11 this season in the top 5 leagues. Arsenal leads the Premier League with 3.9 players per game.


Not a big surprise to see that Barcelona’s starting line-up this season has contained just over seven players from their famed La Masia academy. The financial crisis that has gripped Spanish football over the last four or five seasons has meant that teams have had to develop their own talent instead of buying it, and as a result La Liga teams have the highest number of academy players in their starting XI. Although that is not the case at Real Madrid, who have relied on players they have bought rather than ones they have developed. Is that a carryover from Jose Mourinho’s win now philosophy?

While Spain has decided to develop its own players, the Italian teams have yet to go down that route, despite the financial problems that Serie A clubs have.

The Real Madrid philosophy can also be seen with the richest clubs in the world; Manchester City, PSG, Chelsea and Monaco, who between themselves have stated on average less than one academy graduate this season.