Premier League: Does your club give youth a chance?


Wilfred Ndidi, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ben Chilwell have seen plenty of Premier League action this season

When trophies are at stake and relegation costs millions, giving young players a chance can be seen as too much of a gamble.

One Premier League club has yet to field a player aged 22 or under this season, however another has shown an unrivalled faith in youth.

BBC Sport has researched how all 20 Premier League clubs have used – or not used – players aged 22 or under this season. Here are our findings.

Foxes lead the way

Claude Puel may be the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job, but the Leicester boss perhaps deserves some leeway given the faith he has placed in the club’s youngsters.

The Frenchman has given more minutes to more young players than anyone else in the division. In total Puel has given 8,373 minutes to eight Foxes players aged 22 or under this season, nearly double that of the next highest – Arsenal, with 4,467 minutes.

Next on the list is Marco Silva’s Everton, whose young players have played 4,455 minutes in the Premier League so far this campaign.

West Ham are fourth on the list with 4,134 minutes afforded to their youngsters, with London rivals Tottenham making up the top five with 4,083 minutes between seven players.

With Leicester leading the way, it is little surprise that it is two young Foxes players who have played the most minutes so far. Wilfred Ndidi has featured in all but one of Leicester’s games, playing 2,038 minutes in total. Team-mate Ben Chilwell has also missed just one league game and is second on the list, seeing 1,980 minutes of action.

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Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is just behind the Leicester duo, playing 1,965 minutes so far. West Ham defender Issa Diop (1,890) and Huddersfield’s Phillip Billing (1,842) complete the top five.

Cardiff rely on experience

In contrast to the youthful looking line-up we have seen at the King Power Stadium this season, Cardiff prop up the table having failed to give a single minute to a player aged 22 and under so far.

The youngest player to feature for the Bluebirds in the Premier League this season is Josh Murphy, who turned 23 last February. Boss Neil Warnock clearly feels experience gives his team the best chance of avoiding relegation this season.

Like Warnock, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri also favours older players. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen are the only Blues players aged 22 or under to play in the Premier League this season, totalling just 151 minutes.

Next up are Watford, with Domingos Quina and Ben Wilmot playing 296 minutes of action between them this season. Burnley (440) and Brighton (863) complete the bottom five.

The ‘give kids a chance’ table – 2018-19 Premier League
Team Minutes Team Minutes
Leicester 8373 Fulham 1975
Arsenal 4467 Crystal Palace 1965
Everton 4455 Southampton 1671
West Ham 4134 Newcastle 1409
Tottenham 4083 Man City 1107
Wolves 3962 Brighton 863
Huddersfield 3089 Burnley 440
Liverpool 2553 Watford 296
Bournemouth 2400 Chelsea 151
Man Utd 2009 Cardiff



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