There are a number of variables to look at when rating a football academy. We can look at the promotion of academy players to first team positions within the club. But with competition at the top clubs across England and Europe this is a tough indicator to follow. Another variable to look into is player placement across the top 5 leagues in Europe. This indicator does help a little more to showcase the talent being produced across the board at an academy. The list could go on and on. As a final marker used when looking at academy success, there is academy team success. Team success would of course be based on silverware won by each academy team. Now taking all factors into account let’s take a look at the top academies in England.



Over the past few years the Southampton academy has become a beacon of homegrown talent in England. Some of England’s brightest young talents have been produces by the academy. The level of player produced has kept Southampton a firmly secure fixture in the Premier League. The astronomical price of past academy players is further testament to Southampton’s academy. The high transfer fees only allowing for further funding to be pumped into the academy.

Star players: Luke shaw, Theo Walcott, Wayne Bridge, Adam Lallana, Oxlade Chamberlain, Gareth Bale, Matt Le Tissier,



Manchester United’s youth program is world renowned for producing some of the game’s greatest.  Just take a look at the 2013 documentary Class of 92. The documentary takes a look at 6 rising academy players set for stardom. It’s very hard not to place Manchester United in the top spot. It’s only with player production slowing in recent years they have just missed out.

Star players: Marcus Rashford, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Darron Gibson, John O’Shea, Ryan Shawcross.



Liverpool football club have never had problems with producing class players. With the city having such a strong footballing history many great players have been homegrown talent. Two of the clubs greatest players literally spent their whole lives at the club. Steven Gerard and Jamie Carragher not only learnt their trade at the club but went on to embody everything the club stand for.

Star players: Raheem Stirling, Steven Garard, Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman, Paul Ince.



The Toffees may not have the numbers when it comes to production of world class players, but what they lack in numbers the make up for in talent. The club itself until recent years was famed for not spending big unless absolutely necessary.  Again coming from a city with such a deep footballing history, many of their greatest success stories have been Liverpool born.

Star players: Tom Davies, Ross Barkely, Jack Rodwell, Francis Jeffers, Richard Dunne, Tony Hibbert, Victor Anichebe.



In past years Aston Villa was a supply line for academy grown England international players. Although Villa is not the most glamorous or successful club, their dedication to young talent is excellent. The club has time and time again given first team chances to academy players. In many cases if the transition to first team football hasn’t been a success, players have gone on to play out successful careers at other top clubs.

Star players: Jack Grealish, Gareth Barry, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Liam Ridgewell, Gary Cahill, Craig Gardner, Peter Whittingham, Marc Albrighton.

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