There are so many youth football academies in the world. And for a child who is dreaming to become a football player, getting in to one of these academies is an important step, a huge opportunity.
So many questions can be asked in relation to this concept of “youth football academies”. But now, I want to focus on a debate that has been going on for a while. Are these youth football academies for the big clubs useless or not? Do young players get a chance to break into the main team or is everything based on money?
First of all, it is true that money plays an important role for the big football clubs. There is an enormous competition between the big teams and it keeps on increasing every day, so they have to transfer new players in order to strengthen the team. And they have to keep an eye out for other players to find out if that player is the one they are looking for. In an environment of massive competition, young players are not the priorities for the managers. Of course they follow what they do and see if anyone can play with the main team. Sometimes they call them to train with the main team. It is not like they are completely forgotten.
If a young player advances to the main team directly from the youth team, it means that the club and the manager have faith and trust in him and they believe he suits the team. And everyone is aware that, if he performs well, his value will increase in the football world, which means more money for him and more money for the club if they loan or send him to another club.
In a research that The Telegraph has conducted, it was announced that Real Madrid is the number one team who produces the most young players in European football. And Real Madrid is one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Not all the players they ‘produce’ stay in the club, but are being sent to other clubs and continue their careers there. So it is not the end for them if they don’t stay with Madrid.
Only by looking to the results of this research, it is possible to say that the youth football academies for the big clubs are really useful and we need them in order to gain more talented players. It is impossible not to talk about money, because it allows the teams to buy the top players.
But I believe youth football academies are really important for the future of football and we will always need them.