Squad age profiles: Premier League, 10 Apr 2020

These graphics 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).

Explanation

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.

Crystal Palace have been operating the oldest squad in the league, with all but two starting 11s this season having an average age of over 29 and all of their last five being north of 30. Roy Hodgson’s also given just 13 minutes of playing time to anyone under 23.

Watford haven’t lined up much younger on average and have given the division’s highest share of minutes to players in their 30s (42.4%).

Man Utd have been putting out the youngest teams on average, although Norwich and Chelsea have given a much higher share of minutes to players aged 21 and under (both just shy of a quarter).