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Which Premier League clubs are giving youths a chance?

ONES TO WATCH: Demarai Gray, Mattéo Guendouzi and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Photo credit: PA / Wikipedia / PA)

IN SPORT, there is wisdom to giving veterans plenty of playing time. They have the experience, which means they more or less know what to do in most situations, plus, there’s the chance that they might be the best players on the team.

However, there is also wisdom in trusting young players as well - after all, how else will they develop into elite and valuable members of the team if they don’t get to play in the first place?

This begs the question: Which Premier League squads are giving youth a chance?

Leicester City

When it comes to giving talent a chance, Leicester City are definitely ahead of most Premier League clubs. But Claude Puel’s trust in his squad’s younger players might come at a price.

The BBC reports that he is “favourite” to get the axe soon, likely due to Leicester’s underwhelming season so far. Puel has entrusted his young players (under 22 years of age) 8,373 minutes to be exact, and that decision may or may not be the reason why they have won only nine matches this season.

Nevertheless, Puel’s young guns have wins over Chelsea (currently 4th in the table) and Manchester City (presently 2nd), and those victories are proof that Leicester’s young team are more than capable of holding their own against the league’s best.

That is why due to their recent struggles, bwin predicts Leicester are rank outsiders to finish in the European places during this season’s Premier League.

However, if they do achieve European qualification it will validate Puel’s decision to stick with the likes of Demarai Gray and James Maddison, and likely save the manager from getting the boot in the process. Even if Leicester fail to qualify for Europe, the experience that their younger players will have gained this season, could be invaluable.

Arsenal

A distant second behind Leicester in terms of putting their young players into action is Arsenal.

Like Puel, Unai Emery has placed tremendous trust in his youngsters, and they have responded well. Mattéo Guendouzi, and Rob Holding, in particular, have been success stories for Arsenal this season, who are currently 5th in the Premier League table.

That means there’s a lot less pressure on Emery in picking Guendouzi and company moving forward. In all, the Gunners’ have opted to go with youth for a total of 4,467 minutes — half the total minutes played by Leicester’s under-22 players.

Of course, it certainly helps that Arsenal have got a raft of experienced players to guide their young starlets. Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey have practically seen everything there is to in the modern game, and will have no doubt been important in integrating the youngsters into the first team at the Emirates.

Everton

Next in line are Everton, who are currently 8th in the table. Silva’s young team are getting more playing time, and as in Leicester’s case, that may or may not be the reason why Everton are struggling this season. But the youngsters, notably Dominic Calvert-Lewin, are showing promise, and they look like they will make a real mark next season.

To be fair to the other squads, it’s not as if the Premier League is an “old” league. The oldest squad, according to Sky Sports is Burnley’s, with an average age of 28. The average age of Leicester, Arsenal, and Everton, meanwhile, are 26.6, 26.5, 24.9, respectively.

That being said, Puel, Emery, and Silva deserve credit for trusting young talent into the spotlight, even under the pressure cooker that is the Premier League.

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