I read an interesting article on Sky about the number of youngsters U21 getting game time.  Martial and Bellerin feature as well as Spurs Delle Alli but overall, there are few PL players with majority coming from France.  While I know it’s U21 and we have some players who are under and around the age of 25 who have potential to have big futures, I can’t help but feel that there is something fundamentally wrong with the club’s transfer strategy.  The club tell us that there is a real focus on young players and development from the Academy through to the first team.  This has been sold to us since Rafa was manager.  The talent coming out of the academy has failed and I think the reason is that the club has a transfer strategy to buy young players as well.

These guys who are bought who are not in their prime are given the gametime and we are expected to have the patience to see their careers grow and then in the future we would reap the rewards of sustained success.  I’ll rattle the names here – Moreno, Clyne, Gomez, Can, Markovic, Coutinho, Origi, Grujic, even Sakho and Lovren are not in their prime yet.  There’s been others in the past as well like Hendo, Carroll and some others.  Sounds wonderful but what has happened is that we have a host of players from 16-25 who are learning and developing their game and less than 10% of the entire roster who are “experienced”.  At the moment we have Kolo, Milner, Lucas, Skrtel who have pretty much peaked excl Kolo who’s at retirement.  These 20 to 25 year olds that we’re buying are effectively taking gametime, development from the youngsters in the academy.  Looking at our academy graduates, what’s the rate of success? Sterling, Ibe and Shelvy were bought and put into the academy but we’ll count them.  Even Gomez was bought.  Flanno is effectively the only local boy and Rossiter has got some experience in the first team now.

Our transfer strategy has to be re-evaluated where we buy smart and get some balance within our team of players who are in their prime, players approaching their prime and young talent.  It’s not easy, otherwise everyone would do it but starting by having that as a strategy and a goal of building a squad to compete instead of trying to hoard every young talent around, so much so, that actual talent like Delle Alli slip through our hands.  I’d like to see more of our youngsters actually coming through to supplement the first team and we spend more on proven quality which will help the young guys improve.  I feel like Klopp has a history of building a team but in today’s modern football I fear he may not get the time and support he needs.

Personally, I feel like he’s the manager we should stick with for a long long time so he can at least be set up for success.  We’ve waited over 25 years for a league title, I don’t want to just win one and drift off into  the sunset.  I want the club to dominate like we once did.



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Heard the other day on a radio show that only 0.5% of kids going into the Academy get a shot at the first team (or was it a contract?). Whichever it was, the “Academy route” for building a team sounds great, but there isn’t a ton of return on that investment either towards the first team, only towards selling.

I think you have to re-evaluate what the purpose of the academy system actually is. We, quite naively, see academies as places that improve players so that they are ready for our first team when in fact the real reason for academies is to get players ready for ANY first team – they are effectively player farms. The cream of the crop is usually skimmed off for our own first team but it’s an accepted fact that the vast majority of players that go through the academy system will be sold on to other clubs, many go to leagues below the Premier League or abroad. This model has blossomed throughout the Premier League and the Championship – why? Because as well as producing a handful of viable players for our own squad it also raises revenue through player sales. Considering the relatively small number of players that make it through academies and into first teams one would wonder why clubs invest so much money in facilities. It appears as though the return on investment in small, and yet more and more clubs are setting up academies. The only logical conclusion is that there is a secondary purpose to academies, other… Read more »

If I remember correctly I’m sure I read somewhere that clubs are also financed by the premier league to some extent for young players, I could be wrong though. But anyway the main reason not many of the academy kids is it is very difficult to spot talent at such a young age, and even if they have the talent, there is no guarantee they have the attitude needed to succeed.


Kids mature at totally different ages. A tall kid at age 11 starts getting hairy and in three years he’s now three inches shorter than the rest.
A gangly kid might finally blossom and fill out and can now do things he wasn’t strong enough or coordinated enough to do before.
Makes it tough to establish any kind of formula.
Then look at the fact some academies have different approaches of how to develop. Some play better kids at one spot where they shine for results. Some play kids across the board at all positions to make better rounded players or try to find where they may shine.
Which answer is right? There is no “right” is the answer


More along the lines of youth then Academy, Kevin Stewart just signed a deal worth £4.7m