In the latest edition of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post, they’ve looked at which players from Champions League final 16 clubs are still with teams playing at that level.
The numbers range from 11 (Barcelona) to just one (Manchester City, Napoli).
Arsenal are currently fourth in the ‘table’ – insert your own joke here – with eight players who trained with us still at Champions League final 16 clubs:
Aaron Ramsey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alex Iwobi, Francis Coquelin, Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott, and Gael Clichy, who’s now at Manchester City.
Above Arsenal are Monaco (9), Real Madrid (10) and, obviously, Barcelona (11).
It stands to reason that clubs like Real and Barca have players they trained with still with them or at other clubs in the Champions League because they attract and develop players of the highest quality. Even though most clubs would be a step down if a player was to live either of the La Liga giants, you’d imagine that they’d still end up at a quality European side.
On the other hand, the only player Manchester City’s trained who remains at the top level – and I use that term loosely – is Kasper Schmeichel, who now plays for Leicester City. The Foxes are only in the Champions League final 16 this season because of their Premier League win last term.