Talent scouting most focused clubs: CSKA and Real show the way

Issue number 316 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post compares clubs from 31 top divisions of UEFA member associations according to the average age at which they recruited their current players (not including footballers from the youth academy). CSKA Moscow made the earliest recruitment (21.1 years), ahead of FC DAC 1904 (21.7) and SC Heerenveen (22.1).

Real Madrid is the big-5 league club most focused on signing young talents. Their current squad members were on average recruited at the age of 22.2 years. This value is particularly low also for RB Leipzig (22.3) and OGC Nice (22.5). European champions Bayern Munich are in the 30th position of teams having signed the youngest footballers (23.4). Tottenham Hotspur (23.9) and AC Milan (24.3) top the rankings in Italy and England.

At the opposite end of the table is Gençlerbirliği SK with an average age of recruitment of 29.0 years, followed by Anorthosis FC and BB Erzurumspor. At the level of the big-5 leagues, the teams least focused on the signing of young players are Benevento in the Serie A (28.1 years), Elche CF in the Liga (27.8), West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League (26.5), Montpellier HSC in the Ligue 1 (26.1) and Union Berlin in the Bundesliga (26.0).

Average age at recruitment, squad players (October 2020)

Not including footballers from the youth academy or U23 club-trained players. Age at return to the club for players loaned.