Squad age profiles: Premier League, 2017/18

Continuing today’s onslaught of end-of-season graphics for the Premier League, here’s an updated version of the squad age profile graphic.

These are intended to give a quick visual overview of the age of players that each club has fielded in league matches using a technique very similar to “population pyramid” graphs, although I’ll freely admit that they’ve come out with shades of the Rorschach test (or as someone observed on Twitter, the Habitat lighting range).


Hopefully they’re fairly self-explanatory, but here’s a quick summary anyway:

For each club I’ve added up all the league minutes played by every player this season and calculated the percentage accumulated by players of every age, rolling up “18 and under” and “35 and over” for neatness’ sake.

Each vertical “step” on a club’s chart is a year, with the major age milestones denoted by slightly thicker lines (as per the labels on the left). The width of the coloured graph at each step corresponds to the percentage of minutes accounted for by players of that age.

I haven’t labelled the percentage values as the graphs were already getting pretty busy and I figured that the general shape and proportions were sufficient to compare teams against each other. I may revisit this (and a few other tweaks) later in the season once I’ve done a bit more tinkering.

I’ve also calculated the average age of each club’s starting line-ups this season and used this to sort all the clubs in a division from oldest to youngest.

Hopefully that’s enough to give you the idea, so let’s dive in.

West Brom were by far the oldest side in the division this season, with their weird Star Destroyer-shape showing that 28-year-olds got the most playing time. In fact only 2.5% of their playing minutes were racked up by anyone under the age of 26, which is insane.

The top four were all in the “young half” of the distribution, with Liverpool‘s average line-up age of bang on 26 making them the youngest of all. However it’s Huddersfield who avoid older players the most, with less than 1% of their minutes going to anyone aged 30 or over.

Leicester and Everton gave the most playing time to youngsters, with players aged 21 or younger accounting for just over a fifth of their combined time on the pitch this season.