Arsenal and Manchester United academies best in the Premier League for graduates playing in the first team

Joe Hall
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Iwobi was one of six Arsenal academy grads who appeared in the Premier League last season (Source: Getty)

Arsenal gave their academy players more minutes in the first team last season than any other Premier League club, a study into youth football productivity has determined.

Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin, Alex Iwobi, Kieran Gibbs, Emiliano Martinez and Ashley Maitland-Niles — all of whom graduated from the club's Hale End academy — collectively racked up 6,628 minutes of Premier League football last season, according to the Press Association Sport study.

Over the course of the campaign, the six graduates accounted for 19.4 per cent of the Guners' top flight minutes.

Manchester United actually played more academy graduates, with 10 picked for first team action by manager Jose Mourinho, but they only appeared in 17.1 per cent of minutes in United's campaign.

Read more: Southampton and Leeds named best academies in English football for producing high earning players

Paul Pogba was the largest academy contributor to United's season, appearing in 2,609 minutes of league football, but the Frenchman did cost United a world record £90m transfer fee when he re-signed from Juventus.

Both Burnley and Bournemouth defied the odds with the largest percentage of players educated in UK-based academies, yet they were also amongst the least-generous in handing out appearances to their own players.

In contrast, Manchester City relied heavily on plyaers raised overseas with only Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Fabian Delph and Kelechi Iheanacho — a City academy graduate — having been developed in UK academies.

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