Real Madrid leading the way for talent investment

08 Dec 2020

A study by the CIES Football Observatory, a website that presents exclusive data and analysis on players, including performance, transfers, value, and ratings, shows that in the top five leagues, Real Madrid are currently the most invested in young players.

Real Madrid have a strong commitment to young players. In recent years, Los Blancos have changed their approach to recruiting, signing the likes of Rodrygo, Brahim, Vinicius and Reinier, with significant investment and expert scouting used to bring the best talent to the Spanish capital.

The study concludes that Madrid are the number one team in the five major leagues that currently includes the most young players. The study looks at all the squads, taking into account the age at which the teams acquired the players. The youth-team players are not taken into account. Players who have been loaned out are only included in the data for the age at which they returned to their parent club.

In total, the study compares clubs from the 31 divisions of UEFA’s member associations. Madrid appear fourth with an average age of 22.2 years old. They are surpassed by CSKA Moscow (21.4), DAC 1904 (21.7) and Heerenveen of the Eredivisie (22.1).

If you only include the five major leagues (Spain, Italy, England, Germany and France), Madrid are the leading the table. They are closely followed by Leipzig (22.3 years old) and OGC Nice (22.5). Tottenham Hotspur are the main recruiter of young talent in England (23.9) and AC Milan in Italy (24.3).

At the opposite end of the table in the five major leagues, the teams that are least invested in young talent are Elche in the Spanish League (27.8 years old), Benevento in Serie A (28.1), West Bomwich Albion in the Premier (26.5), Montpellier in Ligue 1 (26.1) and Union Berlin in the Bundesliga (26.0).

As for the second Spanish team most interested in acquiring young players, Barcelona have an average age of 23.4 years old, and sit 31st in the global list (counting all leagues) just behind Bayern Munich, which demonstrates that the major European clubs are increasingly looking to recruit the next top talent ahead of their rivals.

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Leo Messi 23 Goals Barcelona
Karim Benzema 21 Goals Real Madrid
Gerard Moreno 20 Goals Villarreal
L. Suárez 19 Goals Atlético Madrid
Youssef En-nesyri 16 Goals Sevilla
Lewandowski 10 Goals Bayern Munich
Haaland 8 Goals RB Salzburg
Harry Kane 6 Goals Tottenham Hotspur
Son Heung-min 5 Goals Tottenham Hotspur
Sterling 5 Goals Manchester City