Analysis of top five leagues and chances offered to youngsters
AS take a look at the top five European leagues and see which teams, leagues and coaches rely heaviest on their under 22 contingent so far this season.
For the last number of weeks, the name Ansu Fati has been on everyone's lips after he made his debut for Barcelona at just 16 years, nine months and 25 days old. The young Guinean attacker, who recently got his Spanish passport, is not the youngest player to feature in the top five leagues this season though. That particular honour falls to Euardo Camavinga for Rennes, who was just 16 years and nine months old when he debuted in Ligue 1. In England, Mason Greenwood (17 years, 10 months and 11 days) is the youngest and in Serie A, Brescia's Sandro Tonali (91 years, three months and 17 days) is the youngest. In Germany, Hertha striker, Daishawn Redan (18 years, six months and 23 days) is the youngest player to see the field so far this season.
With the big leagues just kicking off last month, 263 players under 22 have played in the top leagues. Not all of them are academy products either as some of them have been transferred for large sums of money. The question is, what teams have played the most youngsters and what teams are shy when it comes to counting on their young talent?
Liga Santander (41 players)
After four games, 41 players have played in LaLiga under the age of 22. Zinedine Zidane is the manager with most confidence in his younger squad members. Two of them are new signings, Eder Militao and Luka Jovic and the rest have played in the reserves at some point; Vinicius and Fede Valverde. Barcelona have called upon Ansu Fati, Carles Pérez and Aleñà and Atlético have played Riquelme from their academy. The others who have shone include Odegaard at Real Sociedad, Chukwueze at Villarreal and Marc Cucurella at Getafe. A couple of others include Ferrán Torres and Kang-in Lee, two players at the heart of the recent Valencia controversy as Marcelino was accused of not relying on the young talent coming through. Levante and Eibar have not played one player under 22.
Players under 22 to play in LaLiga this season
|Sevilla (2)||Bryan Gil and Koundé.|
|Atlético Madrid (3)||Riquelme, João Félix and Lodi.|
|Real Madrid (4)||Vinicius, Fede Valverde, Jovic and Militao.|
|Athletic Bilbao (2)||Sancet and Larrazabal.|
|Barcelona (3)||Ansu Fati, Cales Pérez and Aleñà.|
|Granada (2)||Yangel Herrera and Brice.|
|Real Sociedad (4)||Barrenetxea, Isak and Odegaard.|
|Osasuna (3)||Moncayola, Estupiñán and Luis Perea.|
|Villarreal (2)||Chukwueze and Ontiveros.|
|Alavés (2)||Borja Sainz and Tachi.|
|Valladolid (3)||Pedro Porro, De la Fuente and Salisu.|
|Valencia (2)||Kang-in Lee and Ferrán Torres.|
|Betis (3)||Lainez, Emerson and Dani Martín.|
|Celta (2)||Losada and Fran Beltrán.|
|Espanyol (2)||Pedrosa and Melendo.|
|Leganés (3)||Óscar Rodríguez.|
Premier League (46 players)
In England, Premier League teams have called up and used 46 players 21 years old or younger. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United is the one leaning heaviest on his youngster. Greenwood, Chong, Wan-Bissake, Reece James, Rashford and Tuanzebe have all played minutes so far. Amongst the 46, the stand-outs include Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal). On the other hand, Newcastle and Crystal Palace have not played a single player under 22.
Players under 22 to play in the Premier League this season
|Manchester City (1)||Foden.|
|Manchester United (6)||Greenwood, Chong, Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Rashford and Tuanzebe.|
|Leicester City (2)||Harvey Barnes and Choudhury.|
|Chelsea (5)||Gilmour, Mount, Pulisic, Tomori and Abraham.|
|Arsenal (5)||Martinelli, Nelson, Willock, Guendouzi and Maitland-Niles.|
|West Ham (1)||Rice.|
|Bournemouth (3)||Ramsdale, Mepham and Solanke.|
|Southampton (3)||Obafemi, Valery and Danso.|
|Everton (3)||Moise Kean, Tom Davies and Djenepo.|
|Crystal Palace (0)|
|Norwich (4)||Max aarons, Cantwell, Jamal Lewis and Godfrey.|
|Aston Villa (3)||Douglas Luiz, Keinan Davis and Longstaff.|
|Wolverhampton (4)||Pedro Neto, Gibbs-White, Vinagre and Cutrone.|
|Watford (2)||Quina and Sarr.|
Bundesliga (48 players)
RB Leipzig are leading the way in this category in Germany. They have played Konaté, Matheus Cunha, Haidara, Nkunku, Mukiele and Lookman. Jadon Sancho continues to take the league by storm and Achraf Hakimi, Renato Sanches (who has since moved to Lille) and Kei Havertz have all featured too. The only team yet to play someone under 22 is Union Berlin.
Players under 22 to play in the Bundesliga this season
|RB Leipzig (6)||Konaté, Matheus Cunha, Haidara, Nkunku, Mukiele and Lookman.|
|Borussia Dortmund (3)||Jadon Sancho, Achraf and Bruun Larsen.|
|Bayern Munich (3)||Davies, Cuisance and Renato Sanches.|
|Wolfsburg (3)||Nmecha, Brekalo and Schlager.|
|Schalke 04 (4)||Mercan, Kabak, Kutucu, Mckennie and Reese.|
|B. Möenchengladbach (1)||Bénes.|
|Bayer Leverkusen (3)||Diaby and Havertz.|
|Eintracht Frankfurt (2)||N'Dicka and Joveljic.|
|Werder Bremen (4)||Sargent, Goller, Eggestein and Friedl.|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf (1)||Tekpetey.|
|Unión Berlín (0)|
|Hoffenheim (2)||Baumgartner and Geiger.|
|Augsburg (5)||Oxford, Rubén Vargas, Richter, Jensen and Uduokhai.|
|Cologne (2)||Churlinov and Vornauw.|
|Mainz 05 (4)||Burkardt, Pierre-Gabriel, Baku and Muller.|
|Paderborn 07 (1)||Vasiliadis.|
|Hertha (3)||Redan, Dilrosun and Lukebakio.|
Serie A (36 players)
The Italian league is the one that relies on the least amount of under 22 players until now. They have only deployed 36 yougnester and six of those are from Fiorentina. Vlahovic, Sottil, Ranieri, Chiesa, Milenkovic and Zurkowski and that number would bloat to eight if we were to extend it to 22 years old. Dragowski was 22 years old and five days when he played and Pol Lirola was 22 years old and 11 days when he featured. Amongst the other young talent is Golden Boy, Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus), Donnarumma (Milán), Paquetá (Milán), Zaniolo (Roma) and Kluivert (Roma). It's also the league with most teams who have not yet played a 21 year old or younger. Inter Milán, Atalanta, Torino, Lazio and Lecce continue to rely on the old guard.
Players under 22 to play in the Serie A this season
|Inter Milán (0)|
|Bolonia (2)||Skov Olsen and Michael.|
|Juventus (1)||De Ligt.|
|Milán (4)||Leão, Donnarumma, Bennacer and Paquetá.|
|Roma (2)||Zaniolo and Kluivert.|
|Genoa (3)||Piamonti, Romero and Kouamé.|
|Hellas Verona (1)||Kumbulla.|
|Sassuolo (5)||Raspadori, Traorè, Müldür, Rogério and Locatelli.|
|Cagliari (3)||Pellegrini, Tomiyasu and Pinna.|
|Parma (3)||Kulusevski, Karamoh and Léris.|
|Udinese (2)||Pezzella and Opoku.|
|Fiorentina (6)||Vlahovic, Sottil, Ranieri, Chiesa, Milenkovic and Zurkowski.|
Ligue 1 (92 players)
Ligue 1 continues to lead the way when it comes to opportunities for young players. 92 of them have played so far this seasons after just a handful of games. Lille have played Djaló, Weah, Niasse, Bradaric, Ouattara, Boubakary Soumaré, Sarr, Oshimen, Magalhaes and Ikoné). It's the only league where every single club have played a youngsters with some excellent names on the list including Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Maxime López (Marseille) and Timothy Weah (Lille).
Players under 22 to play in the Ligue 1 this season
|PSG (5)||Aouiche, Zagre, Bulka, Dagba and Mbappé.|
|Rennes (3)||Camavinga, Boey and Maouassa.|
|Nantes (3)||Louza, Lafont and Ludovic Blas.|
|O. Marseille (3)||Kamara, Chabrolle and Maxime López.|
|Lille (10)||Djaló, Weah, Niasse, Bradaric, Ouattara , B. Soumaré, Sarr, Osimhen, Magalhaes and Ikoné.|
|Nice (9)||Thuram, Pelmard, Sylvestre, Nsoki, Ganago, Maolida, I. Cissé, Claude-Maurice and Dolberg.|
|Angers (3)||Aït Nouri, Reine-Adelaide and Kanga.|
|O. Lyon (3)||Solet, Aouar and Jean Lucas.|
|Girondins (7)||Lottin, Adli, Bellanova, Tchouaméni, Benrahou, Maja and Kalu.|
|Toulouse (8)||Gonçalves, Diakité, Sidibé, Amian, Rogel, Makengo, Sangaré and Leya Iseka.|
|Reims (4)||Mbukum Nkada, Disasi and Kutesa.|
|Montpellier (3)||Chotard, Cozza and Bertaud.|
|Brest (2)||Diallo and Perraud.|
|Nimes (5)||Denkey, Sainte-Luce, Alakouch, Fomba and Ben Amar.|
|Saint-Etienne (3)||Youssouf, Moukoudi and Nordin.|
|Metz (2)||Niane and M. Fofana.|
|Strasbourg (6)||Simakan, Zemzemi, Y. Fofana, Lebeau, Bellegrade and Ibrahima Sissoko.|
|Mónaco (4)||Badiashile, Panzo, Foster and Sylla.|
|Dijon (8)||Loiodice, Philippe, Bryan Soumaré, Chouiar, Mendyl, Matheus Pereira, Keyta and Mavdidi.|
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