Last week I showed that the Premier League has the lowest amount of Non-EU footballers when compared to the other big European leagues – Serie A, Lique 1, Bundesliga and La Liga. The take home message was that it's not the arrival of non-EU players but the arrival of those from inside the EU that is the greatest impediment to young English talent getting an opportunity to play in the Premier League.
Here are more details on the topic based on a dataset of 2,751 footballers across the five European leagues.
1. The Premier League has over double the number of footballers (231) from the EU but not from England when compared to the other big four of Italy (107), Germany (102), Spain (57) and France (55).
2. The worst ‘offenders’ for having Non-EU talent on the books are primarily in Italy. The top clubs in the overall list are Inter Milan with 61.5% of Non-EU players and joint second Verona and Lazio at 52%.
3. The only club out of the 98 to have no Non-EU talent is Athletic Bilbao in Spain who have 25 Spanish players out of a 26 man squad. This club is known internationally for its 'cantera' policy of bringing through Basque players.
4. In terms of not having national talent on the books, Chelsea are bottom of the list of the 98 clubs, followed by Arsenal in second last position. Premier League clubs make up 4 of the bottom 5, with Swansea and Manchester City being 4th and 5th last respectively.
5. Just looking at the Premier League, Leicester City has the most English players on the books, followed by West Ham and Crystal Palace.
As a final note on this issue I will breakdown the data for elite clubs (playing in European competitions) versus the rest. A caveat on the issue is the argument that young talent is getting an opportunity in smaller Premier League clubs but not the big ones.