Football Features

Every Premier League club ranked by their use of academy players during 2019/20 season

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:00, 15 June 2020

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has received a lot of plaudits for his use of academy graduates in the Premier League this season.

The Blues were hindered by a transfer ban last summer that made them unable to add to their squad, aside from Mateo Kovacic’s loan move turning permanent.

As a result, Lampard had to look to the players previous Chelsea managers have overlooked, such as Tammy Abraham – who has scored 13 goals in 25 Premier League games – and Mason Mount.

But do Chelsea have the best record in the Premier League for minutes given to academy players during the 2019/20 season so far?

We’ve taken a look.

20. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Players used: 1

Total minutes: 123

Had circumstances been different, Wolves may have climbed further up the list, but Morgan Gibbs-White is enduring a tough season, having broken through in 2018/19. The 20-year-old midfielder has been restricted to just 123 minutes in the Premier League.

19. Bournemouth

Players used: 3

Total minutes: 343

Eddie Howe has been stretched to the limit this season with his squad. He has had a number of injury issues to contend with and has naturally turned to his youth ranks for answers at times. Mark Travers, Jack Simpson and Sam Surridge have all been given minutes this campaign as a result.

18. Sheffield United

Players used: 2

Total minutes: 794

Sheffield United have been excellent this season, but they haven’t really been reliant on players to have come through the club. The Blades have handed just 794 minutes to two academy graduates, but both are in their 30s, with Phil Jagielka and Billy Sharp largely having to make do with cameo appearances.

17. Manchester City

Players used: 3

Total minutes: 1,046

For some, Phil Foden should already be a member of England’s senior squad, but the 20-year-old will not be anywhere near Gareth Southgate’s selection until he starts playing regularly for the Manchester City first-team. The talented midfielder has managed just 355 minutes of Premier League action this season, with Angelino actually making up the majority of City’s academy minutes, having re-joined the club in the summer, though he has since left for RB Leipzig on loan in January. Eric Garcia is the other City academy graduate to have been given time on the pitch.

16. Watford

Players used: 1

Total minutes: 1,227

The Hornets aren’t blessed with academy graduate options, with only Adrian Mariappa being given playing time this season. That said, the 33-year-old has seen plenty of action and has been a competent outlet for Nigel Pearson as Watford look to beat the drop.

15. Everton

Players used: 2

Total minutes: 1,427

Tom Davies was once tipped to be the next big thing to come out of Everton and there is still every chance he could be at just 21. But the midfielder has had to watch on from the sidelines for a lot of the season, making just 15 starts in the Premier League so far, owing largely to Andre Gomes’s long-term injury. Teenage forward Anthony Gordon has also made two appearances under Carlo Ancelotti.

14. Aston Villa

Players used: 3

Total minutes: 2,499

We take a big jump next to Aston Villa, who have handed their academy graduates over 2,000 Premier League minutes this season. Jack Grealish makes up the larger part of those minutes, with the playmaker receiving 2,334 so far – as key as ever to the Villans. Keinan Davis has also featured in the Premier League, as too has Indiana Vassilev.

13. Crystal Palace

Players used: 2

Total minutes: 2,552

Crystal Palace have given just two academy graduates playing time this season, but one of those is arguably more important to Palace than any other player in Roy Hodgson’s squad: Wilfried Zaha. The Ivorian trickster has once again been central to everything the Eagles have done this season and is yet to miss a single match. Teenage midfielder Brandon Pierrick has also been afforded some playing time this term, though he’ll be hoping to improve upon his seven minutes when the league restarts.

12. Liverpool

Players used: 2

Total minutes: 2,569

Liverpool are top of the Premier League table and look destined for the title, and key to their blistering season has been Trent Alexander-Arnold. The playmaker-cum-defender has been a creative machine in 2019/20, so far being one of only two players to register 10+ assists for the season. He has energised the right channel for Jurgen Klopp’s side in fantastic fashion and is already operating at a world class level. Koppites will now be hoping Curtis Jones will follow in the footsteps of his defensive counterpart, so far amassing 19 minutes. 

11. Newcastle United

Players used: 4

Total minutes: 3,579

There has been a lot of fanfare surrounding Sean and Matthew Longstaff this season, with the brothers having come through Newcastle United’s academy to play together. But they are not the only academy graduates featuring for the Magpies this season. Paul Dummett has played just 71 minutes fewer than S Longstaff, while Andy Carroll’s return also sees him prop up the list.

10. Southampton

Players used: 4

Total minutes: 3,900

Southampton have been known for bringing exciting players up through their academy, and Ralph Hasenhuttl has given four graduates playing time this season. James Ward-Prowse has been a near ever-present, while Yan Valery and Michael Obafemi have racked up some considerable game time this term. Diminutive midfielder Will Smallbone has also been handed 158 minutes of action.

9. Burnley

Players used: 2

Total minutes: 3,913

Burnley currently sit 10th in the Premier League table and academy graduate Dwight McNeil has been indispensable to that mid-table run, recording five assists and two goals so far. The 20-year-old makes up most of the minutes Burnley have given their academy graduates, but Jay Rodriguez has also contributed after returning to Turf Moor in the summer.

8. Brighton & Hove Albion

Players used: 3

Total minutes: 4,147

Aaron Connolly wrote headlines for Brighton earlier this season after scoring twice in their 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. But he remains the least-used of Brighton’s academy graduates, managing just 834 minutes so far. Less than 50 ahead of him is Solly March, but the pair are some way off the importance of Lewis Dunk, who has been a near ever-present for Graham Potter and continues to represent the Seagulls’ academy.

7. Arsenal

Players used: 7

Total minutes: 4,394

The Gunners have a rich history of providing young players a platform in which to thrive, and that philosophy has come to the fore emphatically this season. Both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta have not been afraid to put their faith in the club’s blossoming academy stars, with no fewer than seven youngsters featuring this term. Among those are Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Hector Bellerin, Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe.

6. Leicester City

Players used: 3

Total minutes: 4,560

Leicester have received a lot of plaudits for the youthfulness of their squad, but just three of their players have come through the club’s academy. That is still enough for them to have been handed over 4,000 minutes, with left-back Ben Chilwell leading the way on 2,060. Harvey Barnes has also impressed in his 1,718 minutes, while Hamza Choudhury has been given 782.

5. Tottenham Hotspur

Players used: 7

Total minutes: 5,100

As everyone knows, Harry Kane is one of Tottenham’s own but the English forward has been joined by six other academy graduates in the first-team this season. Although Danny Rose did come through the academy at Leeds United, he did also feature for Spurs’ academy before becoming a first-team member. Harry Winks, Japhet Tanganga, Kyle Walker-Peters, Oliver Skipp and Troy Parrott are the others, though the latter has clocked just six minutes so far.

4. West Ham United

Players used: 4

Total minutes: 5,551

Known as the ‘Academy of Football’, West Ham have handed four academy products considerable minutes this campaign. Chief among those is of course Declan Rice, while his midfield partner, Hammers captain, and club stalwart, Mark Noble is still a regular in the side. David Martin, son of club legend Alvin Martin, has also been handed minutes following the disastrous signing of Roberto last summer. David Moyes has also turned to Jeremy Ngakia in recent games owing to an injury sustained by Ryan Fredericks.

3. Norwich City

Players used: 4

Total minutes: 6,075

The excitement of watching Norwich has quickly turned to worry over whether they can avoid relegation, but the Canaries have kept faithful to their football. Daniel Farke has given four academy graduates a combined total of 6,075 minutes of Premier League action this season, with Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell all managing over 1,000 each, while Adam Idah has also seen the turf.

2. Manchester United

Players used: 11

Total minutes: 7,948

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their record of having academy graduates in their team, Manchester United rule the roost when it comes to individual players utilised, but they fall just short on minutes provided. The Red Devils are the only team to have given more than 10 academy graduates playing time this season, with Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford irreplaceable first-team regulars. Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Axel Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and James Garner are the other nine with appearances this season, ranging from key performances to cameos.

1. Chelsea

Mason Mount started Chelsea's Boxing Day defeat to Southampton on the bench.

Players used: 10

Total minutes: 8,784

Much has been made about Chelsea’s use of their academy players this season and with good reason, with the club currently sitting fourth in the division, owing largely to the performances of their homegrown stars. Mason Mount has been indispensable to Frank Lampard, while Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are also first-team regulars. Andreas Christensen, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James have been handed significant minutes, while Billy Gilmour was just beginning to come to the fore prior to the hiatus. Armando Broja, Faustino Anjorin and Tariq Lamptey have also been given time on the pitch by Lampard, though the latter has since left for Brighton.