Game time is a crucial factor for player development. Players and agents might be interested in clubs and philosophies that enables game time, consequently, having a look on the percentage of minutes played by footballers who had not yet turned 20 in domestic league matches played over the last five years. A total of 1,168 clubs in 76 leagues worldwide were analysed.
Denmark’s Nordsjælland sits up top with a staggering 37% of minutes played by a player younger than 20 years of age. Slovakia’s MŠK Žilina and Septemvri Sofia of Bulgaria complete the podium.
Two Venezuelan clubs (Mineros de Guayana and Deportivo La Guaira) follow, as well as RSC Anderlecht located in Belgium.
Uruguay’s Defensor SC are the 3rd highest ranked non-European team, ahead of another Venezuelan team, Monagas SC, and Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle.
As usual a look at the Big5 clubs is in order. Borussia Dortmund leads with 12,5% of minutes played by players younger than 20. Stade Rennais and FC Barcelona follows with 9.4 and 8.2% respectively. Arsenal FC as the first Premier League team comes in at place 17 where 4,5% of minutes played by players under the age of 20.
Interestingly, 6 from the first 10 clubs derive from the Ligue 1 (France), followed by Bundesliga and La Liga.
Furthermore, Ligue 1 represents 37% of all teams of the top 30 teams ranked by minutes played by players below the age of 20 in the BIG5. The Bundesliga (27%), La Liga and the Premier League (both 13%) sits in front of Serie A (Italy) with 10%.
To conclude this information, it can be said that players under the age of 20, should be mindful of minutes played in the aforementioned leagues. Consequently, considering playing in a league (and a club) that favors young and developing players could be of advantage with regards to game time.