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Dortmund Youth Development (with some interesting stats on the premier league)

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by africanspur, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Feb 7, 2018
    #1

    africanspur Full Member

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    Came across the following article on Dortmund's youth development in the FT. The article by itself is interesting, though Dortmund's youth policy has probably already been talked about to excess on here.

    What I found particularly pertinent and prompted me to start this thread were some of the graphs and figures on British football. Long read but worth it imo:


    I don't think I'm supposed to copy and paste the full article but some of the interesting graphs are below:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The first graph about youngsters getting opportunities in different leagues was particularly troublesome for me as I worry that we may waste this incredible generation of players we have coming up, who've been lauded as the best youth teams in the world at the moment. Perhaps the players themselves have realised it and that is why more of them are going abroad for their development now? I'm not sure how we can improve this or whether it can be improved. Is the money in the league just too much and too important now to be giving youth players as much of an opportunity as in other leagues?

    What do you think?

    (Apologies if there's another thread already talking about this, please merge if there is).
  2. Feb 7, 2018
    #2

    RedSky likes to kick 10-year-olds Scout

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    This has been a running theme for a several years in the Premier League and more worryingly the Championship. Quoting this post but it seems relevant to this thread:

    Only 9 teenagers have got 500+ minutes in the top 2 divisions of English football (at the time of the post which was a few weeks back). Unless something changes our 'golden generation' will receive the same fate as previous generations, while their European counterparts get first team football and develop our boys will be stuck in youth/reserve team level.
  3. Feb 7, 2018
    #3

    izec Full Member

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    Sessegnon is miles ahead of everyone else, in terms of minutes and output and he is the youngest too. Buy him
  4. Feb 7, 2018
    #4

    ivaldo Mediocre Horse Whisperer, s'up wid chew?

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    Is it me or does that first graph not paint top PL clubs in a much better light than the article portrays? Almost half of the top 10 are PL clubs, and the top three clubs aren't really in the same league as the rest listed on there.
  5. Feb 7, 2018
    #5

    Chipper Full Member

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    It's a consequence of being rich or poor and finding the best strategy you can to fit in with that. Only gets you so far I suppose too.

    Look at that last graph, all the teams with more points per games are all the wealthiest ones and the most successful teams too. If Dortmund could afford it, it would be wise for them to take up the same strategy as those clubs further to the bottom right than they are.
  6. Feb 7, 2018
    #6

    Classical Mechanic Full Member

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    I think the elite talents will be OK. Foden should get more minutes in the PL this season when he comes back from injury. Sancho has played himself into contention at Dortmund (shame he got injured). Hudson Odoi is starting to get minutes for Chelsea (only turned 17 in November) and Sessegnon plays every games for Fulham. All these lads are still 17 so the progression is OK.

    It is the players in the next bracket, players that you need to make up the depth that I worry about.
  7. Feb 7, 2018
    #7

    hasanejaz88 Full Member

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    Well it's a decision of what you want from a league, international success or youth development because it's usually one or the other, that's why the top in youth development have been less successful in European competitions compared to the La Liga and Premier League, who are way down.

    It's rare to see the two coincide and I can only remember the brief period in the early 2010's, when Bundesliga clubs generally doing well in Europe, that you could see the two go together. As mentioned though, that period was brief, as not only evidenced by the performance of Bundesliga clubs this season but also the trend of their performances over the past couple of seasons.

    Dortmund's model may be worth appreciating from a youth development standpoint, but it's also a very dangerous and highly volatile one. It is risky investing your success on the business of developing and then selling young players since it is very likely that those young players will not fulfill their potential, and therefore you'l be left in a position where those new players will not be able to fill the boots of the departing ones. Dortmund did suffer that when they tried to replace Gotze with Mhikitariyan, Lewandowski with Immobile and to an extent Hummels with Ginter. Neither of those new players reached the caliber of the departing ones and therefore Dortmund's performances steadily dropped. Once it seemed Mhiki would finally get to that level and Dortmund looked to return to the top, they had to sell him and replace him with Dembele. Ofcourse that turned out to be a massive success but as we've seen this season, they had to sell him and have looked to get it wrong again with signing Yarmelenko as a replacement. This has resulted an up and down performance chart over the past few seasons.

    It has been many seasons since Dortmund managed a challenge for the title and so I think we are looking at their model with more of a view of their past success, which we may not realize but were almost a decade ago now. Therefore, you certainly cannot say their model is one for sustained success. And Dortmund certainly are not the only ones to suffer from this, just looking at Germany you can see Werder Bremen as an example in the mid to late 00's. At the start of their success in 2004 they had a core of Ailton and Micoud, who were replaced with Klose and Diego and while they were not able to win another Bundesliga, still maintained a high level of performance; their downfall began when they made the bad signing of Arnautovic to replace Ozil.

    Therefore, with a strategy like Dortmund's you are always walking a tight rope between success and a decline, which can very tough to get out off. The decline can be steep as well, it can start with one bad signing but then cascade further as the remaining good players also seek to leave following a bad season. Quickly you see a number of your best players leave and you aren't able to replace them. Dortmund are already going starting to go through this, failure to replace Dembele resulted in Aubmayeng wanted to leave more and who knows if they don't quality for the UCL then their remaining stars like Pulisic and Reus might also want to leave.

    I still love the Bundesliga because I appreciate the work they put into playing younger players and seeing them develop into great players is satisfying, especially if they are German. But even I don't think it will translate into consistent success so I don't see any EPL teams, with the amount of money at stake and pressure of success, adopting this strategy.
  8. Feb 7, 2018
    #8

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    A lot of the data in those first few graphs doesn’t differentiate between playing a “young” (under 23 years old) player and playing academy graduates.

    Do clubs like Spurs and Liverpool - whose transfer strategy involved targetting young yet established first team talents from other, smaller clubs - really deserve to be talked about as some sort of gold standards for “youth development”?

    That’s the equivalent of giving Manchester United kudos for our record of youth development every time Anthony Martial starts a game. Which is obviously nonsense.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  9. Feb 7, 2018
    #9

    Josep Dowling Full Member

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    I still firmly believe if your good enough you will eventually get games except if you play for Chelsea and now probably Man City.

    So many young players get hyped and labelled ‘the new Messi’ when the reality is a camera saw them have one good game at youth level. The hype on Foden is already ridiculous.
  10. Feb 7, 2018
    #10

    Cristiano Lell BANNED LOLZ

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    Yes, for example Dortmund is given credit for making a profit by selling Hummels to Bayern, while of course Hummels was a Bayern youth player in the first place who returned to us. It's a bit confusing.
  11. Feb 7, 2018
    #11

    Mr. MUJAC Talent spotter

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    Looking at some of those players named doesn't make sense.

    Bale and Walker both came from other clubs so even though they meet the age criteria certainly weren't Spurs youth products.

    I think there is major difference when talking and defining youth development

    1. Players developed from your own Academy
    2. Players over 18 bought from other clubs

    At United we certainly have players falling into both camps from 2008/09 to present

    Youth players included Chester, Eckersley, Welbeck, Macheda, Amos, King, Morrison, Cleverley, Pogba. Cole, Keane, Keane, Wootton, Tunnicliffe, Brady, Janujaz and so on...

    Players bought at 18+ the Da Silva's, Tosic, De Last, Possebon, Diouf, Jones, De Gea, Powell, Zaha, Shaw, Depay etc...

    The only fault with this sort of analysis is that United could have had 11 youth players in the squad...all over 23 but then be regarded as not promising youth.

    Be good to see some contextual factors laid over.

    Having said all of that it is still very interesting but you need to look beneath the surface to see what is really going on.
  12. Feb 7, 2018
    #12

    RU Devil Full Member

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    I think Pogue resolves the quandry.

    As Pogue notes, it seems the first graph gives credit for Martial, DDG, etc, not only graduates like Rashford & Lingard. Heck, we got credit for Smalling, Jones, Memphis, etc., plus even Ronaldo, Rooney, Nani, etc in the early part of the period, hence the relatively high % of minutes played.

    The focus is on Dortmund & their youth policy, though, not necessarily their youth development via academy. Get young diamonds in the rough & shine them up, get a good run, and probably sell on for a large fee to fund their next project. Spurs are also similar to Dortmund but are aiming to expand their revenues in order to achieve a sustained run instead of having to sell their best players. Given a choice, I don't think Levy would sell if Spurs are close to achieving a breakthrough, but Dortmund don't have the financial muscle to avoid it, plus they almost rely on their reputation for developing young talent (& letting them transfer when the time is right) to entice the next set of youngsters to join.

    BTW, why isn't Utd in the last graph?
  13. Feb 7, 2018
    #13

    africanspur Full Member

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    I don't think they do make that exact differentiation (they only make it in the last graph, when they break it down from sales of academy players vs sales of players bought from other academies and then developed at your own club.

    I personally do believe that all those examples you mention deserve credit tbh, even if the credit goes for different things. Did Man Utd find Martial or DDG as young kids and develop them as to what they are today? Not alone no, other clubs have obviously contributed and they were already very highly rated talents when they arrived. Still, I think it would be harsh to say that Man Utd haven't contributed to the development of these players, that they don't play the way they do because of the influence they have at their clubs and their managers.


    Same as Walker for instance, who I think someone mentioned above. He was a good prospect when we bought him (and Naughton) for sure but was he being talked about as one of the best right backs in the world in the future? No, I don't recall that at all, in fact, from what I remember, Naughton was the more highly rated one. The managers worked with him, to eradicate his brain farts, his mistakes and look at the result now.

    Similarly, Danny Rose came to the team as a left winger. Multiple managers have shaped him from a relatively average left winger to one of the best lbs in the league.

    Why shouldn't Dortmund get credit for developed Pulisic for example when they bought him at 15, as opposed to 8?

    (None of this is to take away from the effort these players put in themselves).

    I personally don't think that there is much difference in how I see a Kane/Winks vs a Bale/Walker, a Martial vs a Rashford. These players have been developed by their clubs to be even better than when they first came in.

    That is my opinion anyway, others may well disagree.
  14. Feb 7, 2018
    #14

    Mr. MUJAC Talent spotter

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    We don't have a really good record of selling players on...we develop them and then play them. Our ratio of bought to developed players is 50:50
  15. Feb 7, 2018
    #15

    oneniltothearsenal Arse Lover

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    I think we really need more than those two categories if we are being analytical because buying a player 18-21 and developing them into a star (Mbappe, Dembele for example) is a massive difference from buying a ready made established player in their prime (Arsenal buying Ozil or United buying Alexis).

    I feel like sometimes fans focus far too much on "from your own Academy" and neglect the very important development stage from 17-22 where a lot of hot prospects burn out and never make it. It might not be "from their Academy" but the buy young policies from Dortmund and Monaco are in stark difference to Chelsea over the Roman years or the general spending of clubs like Barca, Real who are just buying ready made players. So you really need

    1. Players developed from your own Academy
    2. Players bought at 18-23 and developed into established players
    3. Established players over 23 bought from other clubs
  16. Feb 7, 2018
    #16

    africanspur Full Member

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    Very true. I guess part of my worry is that I don't think we are doing a particularly good job currently with two of our own highly rated academy prospects (Edwards and Onomah), a pattern I can see being repeated across the board for the next level of talents down from Foden or Sancho like you said.
  17. Feb 7, 2018
    #17

    Classical Mechanic Full Member

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    Onomah should have gone out on loan earlier in my opinion. He hasn't set the world alight at Villa unfortunately this season but he wasted couple of seasons on the fringes at Spurs.

    I think Onomah alongside the likes of Tuanzebe and Dowell are examples of players that he simply played to0 little senior football by the age of 20 and are indicative of the problem.

    Edwards has long been rumoured to have attitude problems unfortunately and could be one to fall by the wayside.
  18. Feb 7, 2018
    #18

    SCP Full Member

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    If they are good, even if they don't have the chance to reach their first team squad they will have a chance on another Premier League squad, and if anything is example, maybe some Bundesliga clubs will scout them, so no, there is no problem at all, just look for example to the Premier League and current number of English players.

    Is England now worse or better than it was 4 years ago? Imo the squad is better, the prospects for the future are better, and I don't have the impression there is a lot more english players playing regular first team football than 4 years ago?

    Ultimately it is quality who may give them the chances to play, and if they strugle to make the first team of top 6 teams, there is nothing wrong in starting at clubs bellow that level and develop or going abroad, and by the way, maybe in the future they will have more chances, but with the amount of money there is less patience from fans and media for younger players who may cost a result for a team who wants to win at all costs, so if managers are under pressure with the money involved is easy to understand.

    Beside that, clubs like Liverpool or Spurs they do look to give some chances, reality is in England managers and young players are in a global competition with managers and players from all over the world. That's the price you have to pay for a global league who makes billions in money all over the world.

    The football where English players or managers had all the chances in the world was in pre Bosman ruling, and there is also positives, younger english players have to compete with foreign players, as british managers. There is always positives and negatives on this.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  19. Feb 7, 2018
    #19

    RU Devil Full Member

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    Even so, based on the timeframe & how the data is calculated, United probably would have a net gain, mainly due to Ronaldo plus some academy sales (Wellbeck, Cleverley, etc). Some clunkers undoubtedly would show, like Powell, as well as some players who were let go for cheap like Nani & Rooney. Still, to include Chelsea for comparison but not United? It's not like Chelsea is known as a finishing & selling club for youth.