A youthful Liverpool - with an average age of just 24 - beat a full-strength Everton in the FA Cup last weekend. That's despite including experienced trio Adrian (33), James Milner (34), and Adam Lallana (31).
The performance of the youngsters got us thinking: 'Which Premier League side has the best young players?'
Well, instead of just thinking about it, we decided to work it out.
Therefore, we've decided to only count players aged 23 or under and create a Premier League table based on the strength of each XI.
Simple enough, right?
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There's a few rules and regulations. Players on-loan at a club have been included. Also, if a player is out on-loan to a club not in the Premier League, they're also included.
It's worth noting that a few players have to play slightly out of position.
*All ages accurate at the time of writing*
20th | Crystal Palace
GK: Dion Henry (22-years-old)
LB: Tyler Brown (21-years-old)
RB: Josh Williams (20-years-old)
CB: Sam Woods (21-years-old)
CB: Jairo Riedewald (23-years-old)
CM: Giovanni McGregor (20-years-old)
CM: Brandon Pierrick (18-years-old)
CM: Nya Kirby (19-years-old)
LW: Jason Lokilo (21-years-old)
RW: Victor Fundi (21-years-old)
ST: James Daly (19-years-old)
Palace would finish bottom of the table if they could only pick players aged 23 or under. There is very little Premier League experience in their line-up with centre-back Jairo Riedewald being the most experienced - having played 17 times for the club in the top-flight.
Elsewhere, there aren’t too many recognisable names.
19th | Burnley
GK: Bailey Peacock-Farrell (23-years-old)
LB: Anthony Driscoll-Glennon (20-years-old)
RB: Joel Senior (20-years-old)
CB: Teddy Perkins (20-years-old)
CB: Jimmy Dunne (22-years-old)
CM: Mace Goodridge (20-years-old)
CM: Freddy Yao (21-years-old)
CM: Josh Benson (20-years-old)
LW: Dwight McNeil (20-years-old)
RW: Olatunde Bayode (20-years-old)
ST: Joel Mumbongo (20-years-old)
Like Palace, Burnley lack players with real first-team experience. They do have former Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to call upon, while the star in their young side is undoubtedly Dwight McNeil.
But the winger would have a very tough job on his hands to save Burnley from relegation.
18th | Aston Villa
GK: Matija Sarkic (22-years-old)
LB: Callum Rowe (20-years-old)
RB: Isaiah Bazeley-Graham (19-years-old)
CB: Ezri Konsa (22-years-old)
CB: Easah Suliman (21-years-old)
CM: Douglas Luis (21-years-old)
CM: Jacob Ramsey (18-years-old)
CM: Jack Clarke (20-years-old)
RW: Keinan Davis (21-years-old)
LW: Indiana Vassilev (18-years-old)
ST: Wesley (23-years-old)
They’re looking to survive the drop in real life but Villa would be down if they could only play players 23 or under. They do have £15 million midfielder Douglas Luis to call upon as well as club-record signing Wesley.
But the rest of the side is full of players from the development squad.
17th | Sheffield United
GK: Dean Henderson (22-years-old)
CB: Kean Bryan (23-years-old)
CB: Sam Graham (19-years-old)
CB: Ashton Hall (19-years-old)
LWB: Stephen Mallon (20-years-old)
RWB: Harry Shepherd (19-years-old)
CM: Reece York (19-years-old)
CM: Callum Gribbin (21-years-old)
CM: Iliman Ndiaye (19-years-old)
ST: Lys Mousset (23-years-old)
ST: Oliver McBurnie (23-years-old)
It would be tight between Aston Villa and Sheffield United but we’re backing the Blades to just about survive. Being able to call upon Dean Henderson would be a massive bonus, while highly-rated defender Kean Bryan makes the back-three. The midfield three is inexperienced but Lys Mousset and Oliver McBurnie upfront would score the goals to keep them up.
16th | Watford
GK: Adam Parkes (20-years-old)
LB: Cameron Green (20-years-old)
RB: Bayli Spencer-Adams (18-years-old)
CB: Jorge Segura (22-years-old)
CB: Mason Barrett (20-years-old)
DM: Callum Whelan (21-years-old)
CM: Domingos Quina (20-years-old)
CM: Tom Dele-Bashiru (20-years-old)
LW: Isaac Success (23-years-old
RW: Ismaila Sarr (21-years-old)
ST: Adalberto Penaranda (22-years-old)
We’ve allowed Watford to have talented defender Jorge Segura - who is currently on loan at Mexican side Atlas - in their XI. Twenty-year-old Domingos Quina has featured in the first-team this season and holds the midfielder together. The pacy Isaac Success and record signing Ismaila Sarr are on the wings, while enigmatic striker Adalberto Penaranda is the centre-forward.
15th | Brighton
GK: Hugo Keto (21-years-old)
LB: Alex Cochrane (19-years-old)
RB: Archie Davies (21-years-old)
CB: Haydon Roberts (17-years-old)
CB: Warren O’Hora (20-years-old)
DM: Tudor Baluta (20-years-old)
CM: Taylor Richards (19-years-old)
CM: Yves Bissouma (23-years-old)
CAM: Steven Alzate (21-years-old)
ST: Neal Maupay (23-years-old)
ST: Aaron Connolly (19-years-old)
Defensively, this Brighton side are very inexperienced. In midfielder, Yves Bissouma has played a few matches in the first-team this season, while Steven Alzate has featured more regularly. But the front-two would certainly score goals with Neal Maupay and Adam Connolly scoring eight between them in the Premier League this season.
14th | Norwich
GK: Archie Mair (18-years-old)
LB: Jamal Lewis (21-years-old)
RB: Max Aarons (20-years-old)
CB: Ben Godfrey (21-years-old)
CB: Akin Famewo (21-years-old)
DM: Saul Milovanovic (19-years-old)
CM: Tom Scully (20-years-old)
CM: Todd Cantwell (21-years-old)
LW: Emiliano Buendia (23-years-old)
RW: Aidan Fitzpatrick (18-years-old)
ST: Adam Idah (18-years-old)
The XIs are getting stronger and Norwich would comfortably survive if they could only play youngsters. They still have the talented full-back pairing of Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons, while Ben Godfrey joins them in a solid-looking back four. Todd Cantwell, 21, stars in midfield with the equally talented Emiliano Buendia on the wing. FA Cup hat-trick hero Adam Idah leads the line.
13th | Southampton
GK: Angus Gunn (23-years-old)
LB: Jake Volkins (19-years-old)
RB: Yan Valery (20-years-old)
CB: Kevin Danso (21-years-old)
CB: Jan Bednarek (23-years-old)
CM: Harry Hamblin (20-years-old)
CM: Callum Slattery (20-years-old)
CM: Will Smallbone (19-years-old)
LW: Moussa Djenepo (21-years-old)
RW: Michael Obafemi (19-years-old)
ST: Che Adams (23-years-old)
Southampton should be pretty solid at the back with Angus Gunn in goal and Yan Valery, Kevin Danso and Jan Bednarek featuring in a back-four. The line-up also includes Jake Volkins, who scored in their recent FA Cup victory over Huddersfield. The other player who scored in that 2-0 win, Will Smallbone, features in a fairly inexperienced midfield. However, going forward, the Saints can call upon first-team trio Moussa Djenepo, Michael Ofafemi and summer signing Che Adams.
12th | West Ham
GK: Joseph Anang (19-years-old)
RB: Ben Johnson (19-years-old)
LB: Amadou Diallo (16-years-old)
CB: Issa Diop (22-years-old)
CB: Goncalo Cardoso (19-years-old)
DM: Declan Rice (20-years-old)
CM: Conor Coventry (19-years-old)
CM: Joe Powell (21-years-old)
RW: Pablo Fornals (22-years-old)
LW: Nathan Holland (21-years-old)
ST: Albian Ajeti (22-years-old)
West Ham have a pretty decent spine with Issa Diop alongside Goncalo Cardoso at centre-back, Declan Rice in midfield and Pablo Fornals making up the front-three. Elsewhere, 19-year-old Ben Johnson has already made his first-team debut, while 21-year-old midfielder Joe Powell is highly-rated. Swiss striker Albian Ajeti, who West Ham signed for £8 million in the summer, will be tasked with scoring the goals.
11th | Newcastle
GK: Freddie Woodman (22-years-old)
LB: Liam Gibson (22-years-old)
RB: Stefan O’Connor (22-years-old)
CB: Owen Bailey (20-years-old)
CB: Ludwig Francillette (21-years-old)
CM: Sean Longstaff (22-years-old)
CM: Matthew Longstaff (19-years-old)
CM: Mohammed Sangare (21-years-old)
LW: Allan Saint-Maximin (22-years-old
RW: Joelinton (23-years-old)
ST: Yannick Toure (19-years-old)
Of course, the Longstaff brothers are in midfield. Meanwhile, up-front the interesting combination of Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton aren’t likely to yield many goals but will get fans excited. Senegalese-born Swiss striker Yannick Toure leads the line. The back-four lacks experience but Freddie Woodman provides a safe pair of hands behind them.
10th | Bournemouth
GK: Aaron Ramsdale (21-years-old)
RB: Jack Stacey (23-years-old)
LB: Lloyd Kelly (21-years-old)
CB: Chris Mepham (22-years-old)
CB: Jack Simpson (22-years-old)
CM: Philip Billing (23-years-old)
CM: Lewis Cook (22-years-old)
LW: Arnaut Danjuma (22-years-old)
RW: Harry Wilson (22-years-old)
CAM: David Brooks (22-years-old)
ST: Dominic Solanke (22-years-old)
Bournemouth have a great balance in their side with first-team experience everywhere you look. Aaron Ramsdale is the club’s No.1, while Jack Stacey and Chris Mepham have featured often in the starting XI.
Philip Billing and Lewis Cook form a decent midfield duo, while Arnabut Danjuma, Harry Wilson and David Brooks play in behind Dominic Solanke.
9th | Everton
GK: Harry Tyrer (18-years-old)
LB: Matthew Foulds (21-years-old)
RB: Nathangelo Markelo (20-years-old)
CB: Mason Holgate (23-years-old)
CB: Morgan Feeney (20-years-old)
CM: Anthony Gordon (18-years-old)
CM: Tom Davies (21-years-old)
LW: Alex Iwobi (23-years-old)
CAM: Richardson (22-years-old)
RW: Moise Kean (19-years-old)
ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (22-years-old)
It’s fair to say this Everton side is top-heavy. Mason Holgate is the only recognisable name in the back-five, while first-team regular Tom Davies accompanies youngster Anthony Gordon in midfield. But just look at that front four. Alex Iwobi, Richarlison, Moise Kean and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Not bad.
8th | Wolves
GK: Andreas Sondergaard (18-years-old)
LB: Ruben Vinagre (20-years-old)
RB: Oskar Buur (21-years-old)
CB: Max Kilman (22-years-old)
CB: Dion Sanderson (20-years-old)
CM: Ruben Neves (22-years-old)
CM: Morgan Gibbs-White (19-years-old)
CM: Bruno Jordao (21-years-old)
LW: Diogo Jota (23-years-old)
RW: Adama Traore (23-years-old)
ST: Patrick Cutrone (22-years-old)
Defenders Ruben Vinagre and Max Kilman have both played Premier League football this season, while Oskar Buur has appeared in the Europa League and Dion Sanderson has played in the League Cup. An impressive midfield consists of Ruben Neves, Morgan Gibbs and Bruno Jordao. But it’s the front-three that’s really exciting. Adama Traore, Diogo Jota and Patrick Cutrone provide the firepower.
7th | Liverpool
GK: Caoimhin Kelleher ( 21-years-old)
LB: Yasser Larouci (19-years-old)
RB: Neco Williams (18-years-old)
CB: Nathaniel Phillips (22-years-old)
CB: Joe Gomez (22-years-old)
CM: Trent Alexander-Arnold (21-years-old)
CM: Issac Christie-Davies (22-years-old)
CM: Pedro Chirivella (22-years-old)
LW: Curtis Jones (18-years-old)
RW: Harvey Elliott (16-years-old)
ST: Rhian Brewster (19-years-old)
The Liverpool youngsters may have beaten Everton’s first-team in the FA Cup last weekend and been the inspiration for this article but they come in at 7th due to a lack of first-team experience. Only Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold - having to play in midfield - are regulars in Liverpool’s side. Of course, the likes of Harvey Elliott, Pedro Chirivella and Curtis Jones have shown they’re very talented but they can’t get a look in at Anfield right now.
6th | Tottenham
GK: Alfie Whiteman (21-years-old)
LB: Ryan Sessegnon (19-years-old)
RB: Kyle Walker-Peters (22-years-old)
CB: Davinson Sanchez (23-years-old)
CB: Juan Foyth (21-years-old)
CM: Harry Winks (23-years-old)
CM: Tanguy Ndombele (23-years-old)
CM: Dele Alli (23-years-old)
LW: Jack Clarke (19-years-old)
RW: Giovani Lo Celso (23-years-old)
ST: Troy Parrott (17-years-old)
A solid back-four with plenty of experience and a midfield trio of Harry Winks, club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli that wouldn’t look out of place in the Premier League right now. Their front-three is a little underwhelming, though. Giovani Lo Celso is playing out of position, while we haven’t seen much of Jack Clarke. Troy Parrott is an exciting prospect but is only 17-years-old.
5th | Manchester United
GK: Matej Kover (19-years-old)
LB: Brandon Williams (19-years-old)
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (22-years-old)
CB: Diogo Dalot (20-years-old)
CB: Axel Tuanzebe (22-years-old)
CM: Scott McTominay (23-years-old)
CM: Angel Gomes (19-years-old)
CM: Tahith Chong (20-years-old)
LW: Marcus Rashford (22-years-old)
RW: Daniel James (22-years-old)
ST: Mason Greenwood (18-years-old)
With Dean Henderson at Sheffield United, 19-year-old Matej Kover gets the gloves for United. But he will be playing behind a very talented back-four, including £50 million signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka. First-team regular Scott McTominay is joined in midfield by academy prospects Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong. Three familiar faces are in attack with Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
4th | Manchester City
GK: Gavin Bazunu (17-years-old)
LB: Angelino (23-years-old)
RB: Alpha Dionkou (18-years-old)
CB: Eric Garcia (18-years-old)
CB: Taylor Harwood-Bellis (17-years-old)
DM: Rodri (23-years-old)
CM: Phil Foden (19-years-old)
CM: Tommy Doyle (18-years-old)
LW: Oleksandr Zinchenko (23-years-old)
RW: Leroy Sane (23-years-old
ST: Gabriel Jesus (22-years-old)
Rodri, Phil Foden, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus are obviously the stars in this side. But they’re joined by some very talented youngsters. Defenders Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis have already played for the first-team, so too has Tommy Doyle. Oleksandr Zinchenko has to play more advanced due to Angelino occupying the left-back spot.
3rd | Leicester
GK: Viktor Johansson (21-years-old)
LB: Ben Chilwell (23-years-old)
RB: James Justin (21-years-old)
CB: Filip Benkovic (22-years-old
CB: Caglar Soyuncu (23-years-old)
DM: Wilfred Ndidi (23-years-old)
CM: James Maddison (23-years-old)
CM: Youri Tielemans (22-years-old)
LW: Harvey Barnes (22-years-old)
RW: Demarai Gray (23-years-old)
ST: Kelechi Iheanacho (23-years-old)
This XI wouldn’t look out of place in the Premier League. Ben Chilwell at left-back and Caglar Soyuncu at centre-back is certainly a familiar look for Leicester. They still have a midfield three of Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans with Hamza Choudhury missing out. Of course, there’s no Jamie Vardy but Harvey Barnes, Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho are all aged 23 or under. The future is bright for Leicester.
2nd | Arsenal
GK: Karl Jakob-Hein (17-years-old)
RCB: Ainsley Maitland-Niles (22-years-old)
CB: Konstantinos Mavropanos (22-years-old)
LCB: Kieran Tierney (22-years-old)
RWB: Reiss Nelson (20-years-old)
LWB: Bukayo Saka (18-years-old)
CM: Mattéo Guendouzi (20-years-old)
CM: Lucas Torreira (23-years-old)
CAM: Dani Ceballos (23-years-old)
ST: Eddie Nketiah (20-years-old)
ST: Gabriel Martinelli (18-years-old)
Other than 17-year-old Karl Jakob Hein in goal, Arsenal’s line-up is pretty experienced. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Kieran Tierney have to play in fairly unfamiliar positions to allow Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka to take the wing-back roles. A midfield three of Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Dani Ceballos is strong. Upfront, the recently recalled Eddie Nketiah partners goal machine Gabriel Martinelli.
1st | Chelsea
GK: Jamie Cumming (20-years-old)
LB: Kenedy (23-years-old)
RB: Tariq Lamptey (19-years-old)
CB: Fikayo Tomori (22-years-old)
CB: Andreas Christensen (23-years-old)
DM: Reece James (20-years-old)
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (23-years-old)
CM: Mason Mount (20-years-old)
LW: Callum Hudson-Odoi (19-years-old)
RW: Christian Pulisic (21-years-old)
ST: Tammy Abraham (22-years-old)
Chelsea would be Premier League champions if sides could only field players aged 23 and under. Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen form a solid centre-back partnership but it’s Chelsea’s midfield and forwards that really impress. Reece James takes a defensive midfield slot with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount joining him in the centre of the park. And then an impressive front-three of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham would be expected to fire the Blues to glory.
So, Chelsea can claim to have the best youngsters in the Premier League.
After years of academy graduates unable to break into the first-team, it seems the future is very bright for the Stamford Bridge club. And they have the perfect manager in charge, Frank Lampard, willing to give these kids the opportunity. Let's hope the fact that they can now sign players doesn't hamper their potential.
Arsenal and Leicester make up the top-three with XIs full of first-team experience.
It's perhaps surprising to see Liverpool all the way down in 7th. However, while many of their youngsters are talented, they simply can't get enough first-team football at the European champions at the moment.
At the other end of the table, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Aston Villa appear to lack young talent coming through the club at their respective academies.News Now - Sport News