The optimum squad age to be successful is somewhere between 26 and 27 years old, according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory.
The Football Observatory analysed 31 top European leagues between 2009 and 2017 to try and establish what age is best for a title winning squad.
Although results vary by country, the median age of champions in the top-five leagues in this period is 26.5. In England specifically, it’s 26.91.
So how do Arsenal compare?
First, let’s look at the average age of each of Arsenal’s positions based on the current squad (minimum one league appearance), and compare against the European average:
- Goalkeeper: 32.00 (European average 26.74)
- Defenders: 26.63 (European average 26.37)
- Midfielders: 25.86 (European average 25.60)
- Forwards: 23.00 (European average 25.28)
Overall, this gives Arsenal’s squad an average age of 25.91.
If they don’t lose or gain any players this summer, that would put them around the right age to fight for a title next season.
Looking at each position in more detail though, you can see there are some problematic areas.
The goalkeeper position is far too old, and that’s something most fans want the club to address in the summer.
The forward position looks young on the surface, although that’s largely because 18-year-old pair Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah (one appearance each) are included.
Realistically, Arsenal have a good mix of very experienced forwards like Aubameyang, strikers coming into their prime like Lacazette, and youth players pushing for chances.
This is the one area that’s probably already set for the next couple of seasons. The players currently at the club should grow into the right roles in that time.
Both defence and midfield are around the average at the moment, but will soon exceed it.
That’s without even including Santi Cazorla, who is 33.
If they’re already above average and performing so poorly, it’s unlikely things will get any better in the future.
Perhaps it’s time to look at freshening things up a bit.