As clubs are always trying to recruit young players, below are the game times of different age groups for the entire year 2021 and 2022 so far.
Starting for the half-year 2022. Fabio Carvalho playing for Fulham FC lead the table followed by Lukeba (Olympique Lyonnais) and Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund).
The previous year (2021) Bellingham was again found in the top five, leading the table followed by Fabricio Díaz (Liverpool) and Fernandes (Santos FC) for the players born in 2003.
Players born in 2002 provided the following numbers: Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kyiv) 4736, Gravenberch (AFC Ajax) 4365 and Gonzalez (FC Barcelona) 4047 hours of game time.
Matheus Martinelli (Fluminense FC), Alberto (SC Internacional), and Alvarez (Penarol Montevideo) with 4854, 4506 and 4415 respectively need to be mentioned for the players born in 2001.
A quasi-longitudinal analysis provide some insights on how many minutes of game time is experienced with another year of age (or football).
Starting with an average game exposure of 2566 minutes for the top 20 players born in 2003 (for the 2001 year) players born in 2002 logged in 36,4% more game time. However, players born in 2001 had another 5,57% more playing minutes compared to their younger peers.
Over all age groups, RB Leipzig accumulated the most game times for their players born 2003 or younger for four players, followed by AFC Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen and FC Barcelona (all 3 players). The following teams had two players listed in their respected age category: AS Monaco, FC Kobenhavn, Santos FC, SE Palmeiras and Sparta Praha.
If these number are due to the quality of recruitment and therefore the quality of players, club philosophy, training development, head coach ….etc. a mix of all is debatable.