Luis Enrique uses more youth players than Pep and Wenger

After Grimaldo's recent words, many have accused Luis Enrique of not utilising his youth team and the young, promising talent. Samper, Dongou and Grimaldo himself, could leave the club in the coming months in search of new opportunities. But at Sport we have compared the use of cantera players at Europe's top sides in the last two seasons and the results may surprise you. We're just looking at La Liga and the Champions League, ignoring the other cup competitions as it doesn't give a fair reflection of the status of the players used, given reserves are often put out in those games.

Barcelona: 895 minutes 

Lucho is the coach who has used the most young players. More than half of the total minutes were accumulated by Munir and Sandro, last season. Sandro played 203 mins and Munir 574. The other player to compete last season was Samper, who played a game against Ajax in the Champions League. 

In this season Sandro and Munir are now first-team players, while Gerard Gumbau has played 28 mins. Camara and Suarez have been called up but not picked to play. 

Bayern Munich: 596 minutes

Everyone knows Pep Guardiola loves the cantera. The Bayern coach has a spectacular squad though, so hasn't needed to use the youth team much. This season he hasn't played any of them.

Last season he used Sinan Kurt for 44 minutes, while Green played 109 mins in five games. The most played youth was Guadino. The German was picked for 371 mins in the Bundesliga and 72 in the Champions League.

Chelsea: 318 mins

Mourinho is the coach who has used the most different youth players. Loftus-Cheek played 138 mins last season and now is part of the first-team squad. 

Christenen (12 mins), Ake (47), Solanke (17) and Isiah Brown (11) also featured. All were last season and now they have been loaned out. 

Arsenal: 71 mins

Arsenal are known for using their youth talent. Bellerin is the latest player to develop and become a key player for the Gunners. But last season the two they used from their academy were Akpom (27) and Zelalem (44). Both have been loaned out this season. 

In England the youth division can be used to help injured players recover so it's harder to know the status of the players in the team. For example, Victor Valdes played for Man United U21s last year. 

Real Madrid: 61 

Of these teams Los Blancos have used their youngsters much less. Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez have forgotten about the cantera in La Liga and the Champions League. Odegaard played five minutes in the UCL with Ancelotti and 32 mins in La Liga. The other player who featured is Medran (17 mins in La Liga, 7 in the UCL). This season, none have featured. 

Making the analysis of these five big clubs shows that although Lucho hasn't used the cantera a great deal, he's done so more than Guardiola, Mourinho, Wenger or Benitez.


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