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.
The CIES Football Observatory 100 lowest average age teams this season across 31 European leagues.
No doubt this is more ammunition for those who look for reasons why the English national team does so badly.