Lezama is still the great support of Athletic. That’s what the numbers say. The rojiblanco team is the leader in participations of academy players in the first four days of the 2022-23 League, according to a study carried out by the prestigious Swiss research center CIES.
63% of the minutes played by Ernesto Valverde’s team against Mallorca, Valencia, Cádiz and Espanyol have been carried out by footballers trained in the rojiblanca factory, well ahead of the two teams that occupy the second and third position in this ranking : Real Sociedad (38.3%) and Osasuna (35.8%). CIES follows the UEFA criteria to consider a youth footballer: those who have played in club teams for at least three seasons between the ages of 15 and 21.
The Top-10 is completed by Valencia (33.1%), Villarreal (27.1%), Barça (24.5%), Espanyol (23.7%), Celta (20.1%), Valladolid (15, 2%) and Atlético de Madrid (13%).
Elche, rival of the lions tomorrow in the clash of the fifth day of the League, only has 0.4% of minutes played by players trained in their school.
On the other hand, Athletic is the club in the five Major Leagues with the most stability in its first men’s squad. CIES has analyzed the average number of months that the players have been employed in the first four days of competition, a ranking that the Ibaigane club heads alone.
The 22 players who have participated in the four games played have spent an average of 66.8 months in the first team, seven points above the 20 players used by Real Madrid (59.4) and the 21 used by Liverpool HR (54.5).
Completing the Top 10 on the continent are Tottenham (53.1), Bayern Munich (52.1), Dynamo kyiv (49.5), Borussia M’Gladbach (48.4), Manchester City (48.2), Paksi FC (47.9) and Leicester City (47.4).