Squad age profiles: 15 Oct 2018
I thought it was about time that I switched on another graphical template for this season. These squad age profiles give a compact and colourful look at the age of players deployed by each club. 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.
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.
Watford have been the oldest team in the Premier League this season with their average line-up clocking in at over 29 years old. The Hornets are the only side in the top flight to have given over a third of their playing minutes to squad members in their 30s and are one of five clubs yet to field someone aged 21 or under this season.
At the other end of the spectrum, almost a third of Leicester‘s league minutes have been racked up by players aged 21 or under: namely the trio of Ben Chilwell, James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi, plus Kelechi Iheanacho until earlier this month.
Middlesbrough are the oldest team in the division so far, narrowly edging out Bolton. Along with Derby and Nottingham Forest, the Trotters have given around 40% of their league minutes to players in their 30s.
While they have plenty of younger players in the squad, Millwall are the only team in the whole of the EFL yet to give playing time to anyone aged 21 or under. With plenty of minutes going to those aged 23 and 24 however, it’s possible that the club is benefiting from prior investment in youth.
Not only are they the youngest club in the division but Barnsley have the distinction of being the only side in the top four divisions yet to field a player in their 30s this season. In fact, nobody over 26 has turned out for the Tykes yet.
Coventry deserve a mention for the 36.1% of playing minutes they’ve given to player aged 21 or under – the highest share across the top four divisions.
The average age of Bury‘s line-ups is the oldest across the top four English divisions, with the 45.4% of league minutes they’ve given to players in their 30s also the highest of all.
I’ve not seen a profile quite like Yeovil‘s before: they seem to have no peak-age players in their mid-20s whatsoever, or at least are choosing not to play them.