Manchester United's academy graduates played the most minutes in Europe last season


Manchester United may have finished sixth in the Premier League last season, but there's one table they top by quite some distance - minutes given to academy graduates.

The biggest clubs in Europe pride themselves on spotting and developing talent and having a successful youth set-up is often a high priority for owners. 

United have become famous for their academy over the years, proven by the 'Class of '92', while Ajax and Barcelona are also amongst Europe's most renowned. 

But according to data released by PA Sport this week, it's other Premier League clubs who follow behind United, suggesting perhaps that England's academies are the place to go these days.

Over the 2018/19 campaign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho gave minutes to 20 players who came through the club's youth set-up. 

That includes the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford, who together with 17 teammates, totaled 27,395 minutes on the pitch last season.

Those impressive numbers put United top of the list, with Tottenham their closest challengers - but the gap is massive. 

Spurs had 13 academy graduates featuring in games last season, with a total of 17,903 minutes, almost 10,000 less than United. 

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Southampton round off the top three, with 16 graduates including the likes of United's Luke Shaw and Fulham's Calum Chambers, totaling 15,964 minutes. 

Honourable mentions go to Chelsea in fourth, with 15,870 minutes and nine players, and Liverpool in seventh, with six graduates playing 12,104 minutes. 

Premier League clubs dominate the list, with other European academies failing to produce big numbers. 


Benfica are the highest non-English team, coming eighth on the list. Check out the full top 10 table below. 


Notable absentees include Ajax and their famous academy, which comes in 12th, with 9,418 minutes between their players.

That's rather surprising, considering how many featured in their impressive side last season. Incredibly, Barcelona's La Masia set-up doesn't even make the top 20. 


This is the third year in a row that United have topped the list, suggesting that no other club in Europe comes close to producing top talent. 

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