Almost a quarter of Manchester United playing time in 18/19 went to talent developed in their academy
Last Updated: 30/07/19 4:15pm
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard picked up over 4000 minutes combined for Manchester United
Manchester United displaced Arsenal last season as the Premier League team relying most heavily on graduates of their own academy.
United’s famed youth system produced the most players across the Premier League as a whole for the third year in succession, but the tally of minutes given to homegrown players has previously been the Gunners’ domain.
For the 2018/19 season, however, United’s academy did the double as almost a quarter of their playing time went to talent developed in Carrington.
Man Utd – 9334 minutesTottenham – 6887 minutesCrystal Palace – 6602 minutesWest Ham – 6344 minutesSouthampton – 5866 minutesLeicester – 5159 minutesArsenal – 4976 minutesHuddersfield – 3771 minutesBrighton – 3376 minutesFulham – 3176 minutesNewcastle – 2896 minutesLiverpool – 2600 minutesChelsea – 2202 minutesCardiff – 2118 minutesWatford – 2070 minutesEverton – 1959 minutesBurnley – 1683 minutesWolves – 766 minutesBournemouth – 654 minutesMan City – 371 minutes
*An ‘academy graduate’ is classed as a player who finished their youth career at that club
Key trio lift United to top spot
Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard continued to lead United’s graduate contingent, with the former pair increasing their playing time to 3245 and 2494 minutes respectively while Lingard dipped slightly to 1765.
Scott McTominay played 953 minutes and fellow midfielder Andreas Pereira 660 as United gave 9334 minutes of playing time to graduate players – up from 6858 the previous season and accounting for 23 per cent of the club’s league season including stoppage time.
Their rise to top spot also stems in part from Arsenal’s tally dropping from 7933 minutes to 4976. Injuries roughly halved Hector Bellerin’s involvement while Jack Wilshere left the club, along with lesser contributors from 2017/18 in Francis Coquelin and Hoffenheim loanee Reiss Nelson.
Paul Pogba is classed as an academy graduate at Manchester United
That dropped them all the way to seventh in the graduate standings, leaving north London rivals Tottenham to provide the main challenge to United as they did in the league-wide academy study. Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Harry Winks were regulars for Spurs, supplemented by just over 650 minutes shared between Kyle Walker-Peters, Oliver Skipp and Luke Amos.
Crystal Palace ranked third, though their hold on that position looks fragile with Aaron Wan-Bissaka sold to United and Wilfried Zaha also consistently linked with a move away – that would leave only midfielder Luke Dreher’s four minutes from the season’s tally.
Declan Rice’s emergence lifted West Ham to fourth while Southampton and Leicester also surpassed Arsenal. Saints matched United for the most graduate players used – nine.
City lag behind but hopes high for Foden
In contrast to their local rivals, Manchester City trailed the entire league in the use of graduate players.
Despite the significant investment in City’s academy facilities adjacent to the Etihad Stadium, Phil Foden was the only in-house graduate to feature for Pep Guardiola’s side on their way to the league title.
Manchester City trailed the entire league in the use of academy graduate players; only Phil Foden made an appearance
The talented midfielder played just 371 minutes in 13 league appearances, including only three starts – though his involvement in the Champions League and domestic cup competitions means hopes remain high for the 19-year-old, whom Pep Guardiola recently labelled “the most talented player I have ever seen”.
City also won last season’s U18 Premier League Cup and reached the FA Youth Cup final – and of course, fans will look at the Premier League table and be happier with their lot than that of United.
Bright spot for Terriers
There were 66 players in last season’s Premier League representing the club which developed them, an increase of four on 2017/18’s figures.
Only five clubs had five or more as United and Southampton were joined by Spurs and Arsenal, with six apiece, and Huddersfield.
Town were relegated in ignominious fashion but Phillip Billing, now departed for Bournemouth, and Tommy Smith remained regular first-team contributors while youngsters Matty Daly, Aaron Rowe and Demeaco Duhaney featured late in the season as 9.4 per cent of playing time went to academy graduates.
Though Huddersfield were relegated, they handed 3771 minutes to academy graduates, the majority going to the now-departed Phillip Billing
Six of one…
City were one of half a dozen Premier League teams to use a solitary graduate of their own academy, though many featured far more than Foden.
Lewis Dunk, ever-present the previous season, played 3376 minutes in 2018/19 to single-handedly put Brighton ninth in graduate playing time, while Cardiff’s Joe Ralls and Watford’s Adrian Mariappa each played over 2000 minutes.
Dwight McNeil is the only graduate player to play for Burnley in the three years of the study but having only made his league debut in the last two minutes of the 2017/18 campaign, he established himself last term with 1683 minutes, three goals and five assists.
Morgan Gibbs-White broke into Wolves’ line-up with 766 minutes – like Foden, he will hope to build on that in the coming season.
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