A recent study by The Athletic found that Chelsea and three other clubs failed to grant a single league minute to any teenager throughout the entire season.
Yes, it’s time for another alternative Premier League table, and this one would see some rather drastic changes to the finishing order.
As you’ll very well know if you’ve ever played FIFA Career Mode, or even more pertinently, Football Manager, regular game time at a high level is essential for young footballers to reach their maximum potential.
The best of their age group can’t just be knocking the ball around with the under-18’s forever, they need to be blooded into the first team.
That way they can learn from the best, elevate their game and understand what it takes to perform on the big stage.
Some clubs – cough, cough, Chelsea – often decide to simply loan players out on mass in order to fulfil this requirement.
However, there is certainly an argument for keeping some of this development in-house when it comes to a club’s very best stars.
For example, take Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott at Liverpool, who have blossomed amongst the seasoned professionals they were integrated with.
Similarly Phil Foden at Manchester City, who has already become a special member of the first team set-up.
You get the point. So, with that in mind, let’s see which clubs have actually been giving their youngsters the opportunity this past season.
Premier League clubs ranked by minutes given to teenagers
=17. Chelsea – 0 (minutes)
=17. Burnley – 0
=17. Newcastle – 0
=17. Leicester – 0
16. Tottenham – 3
15. West Ham – 4
14. Brentford – 17
13. Watford – 26
12. Brighton – 67
11. Arsenal – 137
10. Man City – 158
9. Crystal Palace – 358
8. Aston Villa – 414
7. Liverpool – 420
6. Everton – 457
5. Wolves – 942
4. Leeds – 1,073
3. Norwich – 1,079
2. Man United – 1,527
1. Southampton – 2,222
It’s quite shocking to see how little opportunity some young players are getting at their clubs, especially at somewhere like Leicester under Brendan Rodgers, the manager who was responsible for bringing through Raheem Sterling.
Similarly, Tottenham and West Ham managed a measly three and four minutes each.
Man City make up 10th spot, although, at 158 minutes are quite a way off the remaining top half.
Whereas their territorial rivals, Man Utd, can hold their heads up high and say that despite the shaky season they’ve endured at least they’ve given plenty of opportunity to younger talent.
You never know, that could seem them rewarded in the coming years.
Unsurprisingly, Southampton seize top spot, the club so renowned for their exemplary management of youth stars.