Arsenal surpass Man Utd in using home-grown players

Arsenal cemented their position as the Premier League side offering most opportunities to their youngsters as Arsene Wenger left a long-term legacy in his final season in charge.

For the second season running, research by the Press Associationshowed that the Gunners relied on their own academy graduates for more playing time than any other team – 7,933 minutes in all.

And this time around, they also used the most individual players developed in-house, an honour previously held by Manchester United.

United, whose academy produced the most Premier League players and playing time in the division overall, ranked second in terms of using their own graduates with Everton occupying the final podium spot in the study.

At the other end of the scale, Burnley did not call on a product of their own academy until the final two minutes of the season, when Dwight McNeil came on as a substitute against Bournemouth.

Young Guns
The study tracked the playing time of every player in last season’s Premier League, along with the club or academy where they finished their youth career.

Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi continued to fly the flag for Arsenal’s homegrown brigade, while Jack Wilshere’s return from a loan spell at Bournemouth boosted their figures,

Ainsley Maitland-Niles stepped up from a solitary minute in the Premier League in 2016-17 to play 993 minutes last term – and the first Arsenal player born after Wenger took charge was joined in that niche category by Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah.

Francis Coquelin made it eight homegrown players, though the midfielder’s playing time was limited by the form of Mohamed Elneny.