Football clubs pursue different politics in terms of age at which players are signed. Issue number 392 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses from this perspective 3,778 transfers carried out during the last ten seasons by the 50 clubs always present in the five major European leagues over this period. Average recruitment ages stretch from just 22.87 years of age for Real Madrid up to a maximum of 26.71 years of age for Chelsea.
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Raffaele Poli
Roger Besson
Loïc Ravenel
Thomas Gonzalez

No English or Italian teams are in the top ten of clubs having on average signed the youngest players. Conversely, in the list are five German clubs (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich), three French teams (Nice, LOSC Lille and Monaco), as well as two Spanish ones (Real Madrid and Real Sociedad). Real Madrid is the only team among the 50 surveyed that did not sign players aged 30 or over during the decade analysed.

At the opposite end of the table, among the ten teams having on average recruited the most experienced players are five English clubs (Chelsea, West Ham, Manchester United, Everton and Crystal Palace), four Italian sides (Inter, Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio), as well as a Spanish one (Atlético Madrid). Detailed information on the methodology used and further analyses of recruitment policies followed by big-5 league teams from an age perspective are available in the brand-new October’s CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report.

Average age at recruitment

Players signed since July 2013, not including academy players