Manchester United have the most homegrown players of any club in Europe’s top leagues, according to a report in The Sun.
The Red Devils boast an incredible 40.7% of players in their first team squad who have been brought through the club’s academy.
The second and third highest percentages in any of the top five European leagues – the Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and France’s Ligue 1 – are Athletic Bilbao with 37.5% and Celta Vigo with 33.3%.
The Sun’s figures
Bilbao famously only sign players native to or trained in the Basque Country but a higher percentage of their squad were trained at other clubs.
‘While many players come through the club academy, plenty still arrive via other teams such as Romanian international Cristian Ganea who grew up in the autonomous region of northern Spain and was spotted by Mallorca’ The Sun explains.
In order for a player to be considered homegrown he must have been on the books of a club affiliated with the Football Association for at least three years before he turns 21 – it does not mean that he must be English.
United’s current homegrown squad members include Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, Angel Gomes, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Andreas Pereira, James Garner, Brandon Williams, Joel Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood.
The clubs with the next highest percentages in the Premier League are Chelsea with 29.6% and Arsenal with 25.9%.
In December United celebrated a landmark 4,000 consecutive games featuring at least one academy graduate, an incredible testament to the club’s youth policy.
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