Alejandro Garnacho and Anthony Elanga

Another impressive stat for United's Academy

Tuesday 25 October 2022 11:00

Manchester United are the leading top-flight English club when it comes to developing young players, new data has revealed.

Research from the CIES Football Observatory shows that 46 footballers currently plying their trade in Europe’s 31 highest-ranked top divisions came through the ranks at United.

The numbers are also impressive when refined to the top five leagues in the continent.

The Reds have provided 28 players to clubs across the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1, including 10 who are currently contracted to United.

Almeria's Largie Ramazani is one of 28 homegrown Reds currently playing in Europe's top five leagues.

The study defines ‘training clubs’ as ‘those where footballers have played for at least three years between the seasons of their 15th and 21st birthday’.

Players who were counted had to be in a first-team squad on 1 October 2022 and must have either played a domestic league game this season or matches in adult championships in both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.

On a European level, United trail only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain when it comes to training players in the top five leagues, while we are well ahead of fellow Premier League clubs Chelsea, Arsenal (both 23), Manchester City (19), Tottenham Hotspur (12) and Liverpool (11).

Erik ten Hag’s former side Ajax are leading the overall chart, have trained 85 footballers across the 31 leagues included in the study. Benfica (73), Dynamo Kiev (72), Dinamo Zagreb (69) and Shakhtar Donetsk (64) complete the top five.

Paul Pogba's summer move to Juventus means we now have Academy-produced representatives in each of the top five leagues, with Tim Fosu-Mensah currently at Bayer Leverkusen and two players, Fabio da Silva and Angel Gomes, featuring in Ligue 1, for Nantes and Lille respectively.

We have four homegrown players in La Liga, with veteran Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique joined by Sevilla's Adnan Januzaj and Almeria pair Arnau Puigmal and Largie Ramazani.

The 10 Reds who have left United but still play in the Premier League include Ben Pearson and Joe Rothwell, of newly promoted Bournemouth, and James Garner, who joined Everton on deadline day.

The high volume of Academy graduates featuring at the top level is testament to the continuing productivity of the club's youth system, which celebrates another significant anniversary this weekend.

What's happening at United this week?


A round-up of the next seven days, as an action-packed October approaches its end.

Sunday marks 85 years to the day since one of the most remarkable sequences in world football began.

Since the 1-0 defeat to Fulham on 30 October 1937, United have played 4,161 first-team games and, for every single one, at least one Academy player has been included in our matchday squad. That's some achievement!

“We are really proud of our record of producing players capable of performing at the highest level,” said Academy head Nick Cox.

“These statistics are further evidence of the success of our approach and the quality of the work of the staff that goes on every day here.

“Of course our primary objective is to develop players ready to play in a winning first team for Manchester United, but we also strive to support players in reaching their potential and enjoy long and successful careers.

“Academy graduates create lifelong associations with the club and we can all take great pride in their achievements.”