Arsenal have made the CIES Football Observatory’s lists of the top training clubs in Europe.
The Football Observatory use UEFA’s definition of a training club, – a team where a player stayed for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21.
They then analysed 31 of the top divisions in Europe to see how many of those young players went on to make it in the professional game, either with their current club or a new team.
At the top of the list were Ajax, famed for their youth development, although only seven of their 71 players produced remained with the club. Arsenal are down at 16th, but that still makes the Gunners the highest English club on the list.
In total, Arsenal have 41 trained players playing in the 31 top European divisions, with nine of those still with Arsenal.
The Football Observatory then put together a similar list for just the players currently plying their trade in the big-five leagues. For that list, Real Madrid came out on top, with 41 trained players playing in the big-five European leagues, and eight still in Madrid.
Arsenal didn’t come out on top in England this time, falling behind Manchester United (5th overall) to come 11th, with 21 players. However, no English side held onto as many of those trained players as the Gunners, with United’s five being the closest any of them got to Arsenal’s nine.
Overall, it seems that Arsenal are still in a good position when it comes to producing youth players, especially when ranked against their English counterparts. When you’ve trained more of your own squad than Real Madrid or Barcelona, you must be doing pretty well.