The Premier League sells itself as the best league in the world.
There are various arguments around that, it certainly has the most money but in recent times the Champions League results don’t suggest that the quality on the pitch is the very best.
What does look very obvious though, is that the Premier League is the oldest, certainly in Europe.
A study this week revealed (see below) that of 466 clubs, across 31 European Leagues this season, there were no Premier League clubs in the top 112 when it came to the average age of the team so far this season.
Newcastle United were the best placed English club in 113th but even then the average age this season is still 25.57, not exactly promoting youth.
However, now we can bring you the average age of all 20 Premier League clubs so far this season and it is a bit of a joke.
Clearly PL clubs are going for very short-term strategies of going for a lot of older players.
In the CIES data, the youngest teams in Europe had an average age of under 22 but in the Premier League, in the Premier League the norm is over 27.
With at the extreme you have Leicester and West Ham on an average of 28 and over, whilst West Brom astonishingly is over 29.
For many/all Premier League clubs, the idea of developing and/or giving younger players a chance has gone out of the window and with clubs so desperate to try and make sure they stay up, it is difficult to see this situation changing any time soon.
CIES Football Observatory data – Average age of Premier League teams so far this season (2017/18):
29.16 West Brom
28.75 West Ham
27.18 Crystal Palace
26.89 Man City
26.65 Man Utd
25.57 Newcastle United
The CIES Football Observatory 25 lowest average age teams this season across 31 European leagues.
The Mag – 20 September 2017:
‘A new study has revealed the average age of teams used this season, by clubs across Europe.
The CIES Football Observatory looked at the data from the top divisions of 31 European associations, according to the average age of line-ups fielded since the start of the current season.
Some quite starting results and the top 100 clubs with the lowest average age are shown below.
The very lowest figure so far, is recorded for the Ukrainian side Stal Kamianske (21.7 years) and the others making up the top five are clubs from Holland, Croatia, Denmark and Slovakia.
The highest placed from the big five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) so far is Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille (22.9 years).
This pattern is repeated throughout the whole list of youngest teams, the poorer/smaller leagues dominating.
In the top 40, the only other two clubs from the big five leagues to feature are Leipzig from the Bundesliga in 12th and French club Rennes in 30th.
In total, of the lowest age 100, only fifteen clubs from the five major European leagues appear:
Seven from the Bundesliga (Leipzig, Leverkusen, Freiburg, Wolfsburg, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Köln), six from Ligue 1 (Lille, Rennes, Toulouse, Bordeaux, St-Etienne and Lyon), one from Italy (Milan) and one from Spain (Valencia).
That’s right, not a single English club features in the top 100.
In fact, to find the highest placed English Premier League team, you have to go as far down as number 113 of the 466 European clubs, where you have Newcastle United and an average age of 25.57 in their teams so far in the five Premier League matches played.
The pattern appears obvious, the smaller leagues/clubs having to rely on bringing through an playing young players, whilst those richer clubs/leagues wait and cherry pick the bets talent from around Europe and then recruit them after they have already shown promise/proved themselves.