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fox_up_north

Academy product vs Expensive transfer - how important is it to our club?

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After some great displays from Thomas and Hamza recently, as well as the season Barnes is having, it got me thinking - are we the type of club that would value having academy players in and around the team over proven signings? For example - would you feel happier as a fan with Thomas and JJ on the pitch over Ricardo and Castagne? I'm talking from a perspective about connecting to the club. 

I've got mates who are Man City fans (I live up north) and they absolutely lament the fact that the only player they've brought through to the first team is Foden, in over 10 years of pumping money into their academy. We are very lucky in that our dressing room has proper leaders like Fuchs, Kasper, Vardy who would absolutely die for the shirt and the young players we have. But we also want to kick on and be a regular top 6 side.

It's a hard ask to be like Man United and have both the money to throw at foreign, quality imports but also be able to field great youngsters. So what would you prefer, if you had to choose?

My personal feeling is that I'd like to have at least 2-3 players in the squad who have been with the club for a long, long time and who you can connect with. If it came down to having that player vs someone from abroad who, while technically better, can't even point to us on the map - I'd take the former. 

I'm also not saying there's a right or wrong answer. Just thinking and wondered what people's thoughts are?
 

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Not to sound too David Brent, but not sure they're mutually exclusive.  All I want is the best starting 11.  Given the choice, I'd prefer an academy player rather than a purchased player as I do believe having a strong affiliation to the club is a desirable attribute.

 

Another angle too is that having academy players in the starting 11 must be quite inspiring to the other academy players.  There are clubs who give very little time to youth players which must be psychologically detrimental to the younger players if they think "what's the point?".

 

Same as the OP, given the above ramblings, not sure what the answer is, but an interesting question.

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Need to sort out the road-map for the future of our academy.   First Class facilities deserve first class coaching structure and direction.  This should help develop more young players for the First Team Squad.  If we can produce one Luke Thomas per season, that would be absolutely outstanding.

 

Hopefully, with money tighter now, attention to the academy will rise up the 'things that must be changed' agenda.  If its let as is, do not hold your breath that a conveyor belt of young talent will be seen anytime soon.

Edited by mozartfox
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47 minutes ago, Stadt said:

Generally, I’m quite hard to please when it comes to us but the makeup of our squad is fantastic.

 

We’ve got a mixture of club legends (Schmeichel, Vardy, Morgan, Fuchs & Albrighton), absolutely quality imports we signed for reasonable fees (Pereira, Ndidi & Soyuncu), talented young English players (Maddison & Justin) and most importantly to me - we have talented local academy graduates that support the club (Barnes, Choudhury, Thomas & KDH)

 

Yesterday, having a left hand side that are both Leicester fans and both incredible young players is so enjoyable in an otherwise disengaging time to be a football fan.

I agree, but I was under the impression Choudhury was an Arsenal fan? 

 

I would say that having players on the pitch that are Leicester fans is a really good thing as they would be more motivated to give that extra few percent of effort. As we gain a wider fan base and maybe become a 'big' club, I would hope that 10-20 years in the future we will have a pool of players who were childhood Leicester fans but did not go through our academy. Ability being equal, and ignoring the price, I would prefer a childhood Leicester fan coming from the Arsenal academy over a childhood Arsenal fan coming from the Leicester academy. 

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1 hour ago, Stadt said:

Generally, I’m quite hard to please when it comes to us but the makeup of our squad is fantastic.

 

We’ve got a mixture of club legends (Schmeichel, Vardy, Morgan, Fuchs & Albrighton), absolutely quality imports we signed for reasonable fees (Pereira, Ndidi & Soyuncu), talented young English players (Maddison & Justin) and most importantly to me - we have talented local academy graduates that support the club (Barnes, Choudhury, Thomas & KDH)

 

Yesterday, having a left hand side that are both Leicester fans and both incredible young players is so enjoyable in an otherwise disengaging time to be a football fan.

Can we please start referring to them as the club's Elders?

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It's a really tough balancing act.  I'd love to see loads of academy products in and around the first team but there are two key factors that have to be considered:

 

1. Is the product good enough? It's a small percentage of young players that make it to the first team in any premier league academy, for us, right now, they have to be of a quality that is capable of playing at an elite European standard.

 

2.  The strength and depth of the squad also plays a part.  Acknowledging that only a few academy players will make it for us, it's difficult enough to get one good enough player in a given position, nearly impossible to get two and you'd probably need three.  Therefore you have to buy the talent in.  Even if the academy product and the new signing are at a similar level, it's difficult to spend 15m on a player and pay them 5x the academy player wages to leave him on the bench.

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52 minutes ago, Foxxed said:

Makes me feel closer to the club. Still amazing that I grew up a couple a miles from where Hamza, Thomas and Barnes learnt to become the footballers they are.

 

It's good for the community and county - helps with local pride, future generations of footballers and raises the name of the city.

These are exactly my thoughts. 

 

Also at the rate we've been going recently the academy is saving the club 20/30/40 million a season at the moment.

Edited by Sol thewall Bamba
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The academy is already the best it's ever been - we're all aware of the likes of Lineker, Shilton, Heskey, King, Moore and Schlupp coming through, though mostly at different times and with the club at different levels to what we're at now.

 

Yesterday we went joint second in the Premier League and ended the game with 3 Leicestershire lads on the pitch. Luke Thomas even went to the same ****ing school as me!

 

The last 5 years worth of talent (Hamza, Chilwell, Barnes and Thomas) came through at a much higher level than anyone else and with the limited resources of Belvoir Drive. Worth noting, Under 18 coach Trevor Peake retired last summer after 18 years of service - what a brilliant legacy those 4 will be for him. 

 

But now we've got an unprecedented opportunity. We've got one of the best facilities in the world. The next generation will hopefully mean we don't have to go and spent millions. 

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Absolutely agree with having strong academy representation in the first team squad. It's something Man Utd and Liverpool have been excellent at doing, cementing the aura around their clubs and instilling a long term culture. Tigers in their pomp had so many local lads in their setup you were never more than 3 degrees of separation from any given player. When they stopped developing players in the way they used to the culture of the club changed with it IMO. 

There's a sense of pride supporting your local team that gives opportunities to local people even in the absence of trophies as a result.

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5 hours ago, brucey said:

I agree, but I was under the impression Choudhury was an Arsenal fan? 

 

I would say that having players on the pitch that are Leicester fans is a really good thing as they would be more motivated to give that extra few percent of effort. As we gain a wider fan base and maybe become a 'big' club, I would hope that 10-20 years in the future we will have a pool of players who were childhood Leicester fans but did not go through our academy. Ability being equal, and ignoring the price, I would prefer a childhood Leicester fan coming from the Arsenal academy over a childhood Arsenal fan coming from the Leicester academy. 

I think Choudhury probably was an Arsenal fan as a kid but you’d hope he’s grown out of it

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8 hours ago, moseeds said:

Absolutely agree with having strong academy representation in the first team squad. It's something Man Utd and Liverpool have been excellent at doing, cementing the aura around their clubs and instilling a long term culture. Tigers in their pomp had so many local lads in their setup you were never more than 3 degrees of separation from any given player. When they stopped developing players in the way they used to the culture of the club changed with it IMO. 

There's a sense of pride supporting your local team that gives opportunities to local people even in the absence of trophies as a result.

I agree but reading Foxestalk I get the impression that academy players receive more than their fair share of denigration: Chilwell, Hamza, even Barnes till his play really took off. Perhaps their gradual introduction into the side doesn't bring with it the sense of anticipation of a transfer deadline signing. I hope that Thomas gets fairer treatment even if he does make a misplaced pass here and there, or gets skinned once in a while (as is bound to happen).

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For all the stick our academy setup gets, about not bringing players through quick enough etc, it sure does a really good job.

 

Barnes, Thomas, Choudhury, Chilwell, Bassey, KDH, Iversen, Gyamfi, Johnson, Eppiah, Sowah (questionable), Knight, Pascanu, Muskwe, Ndukwu, Doodo, Uche etc etc 

 

That is the best batch of players that we’d class as grown we’ve produced in a while. 
 

Before that, you’d be looking at the class of King, Gradel, Weslowski, Dodds, Sheehan, Porter, Stearman etc

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23 hours ago, fox_up_north said:

After some great displays from Thomas and Hamza recently, as well as the season Barnes is having, it got me thinking - are we the type of club that would value having academy players in and around the team over proven signings? 

First point: there's never such thing as a 'proven signing', because you never know how a player is getting to fit in at a new club or - even less so - in a new league.

 

Second point: It's just common sense to bring players through. Every player has to come through a youth academy or some similar somewhere, so why not make it ours?

 

I think clubs are starting to realise again that it's good business sense to give young players senior game time. The only way for a player to transition from academy prospect to first team player is to get game time - there is no other way. Clubs have also twigged that - especially in today's world of football analysis and hype - that each time a young academy grad plays a PL game, it's adding a million quid to his 'value'. It just is. A 20-year-old that has made 15 PL appearances is worth several times more than the equivalent 20-year-old who hasn't made any.

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21 hours ago, brucey said:

I agree, but I was under the impression Choudhury was an Arsenal fan? 

 

According to the commentators the other night, he used to go to Leicester home and away games with his uncle.

 

Either way, he's been with the club since he was eight or so.

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9 hours ago, Sly said:

For all the stick our academy setup gets, about not bringing players through quick enough etc, it sure does a really good job.

 

Barnes, Thomas, Choudhury, Chilwell, Bassey, KDH, Iversen, Gyamfi, Johnson, Eppiah, Sowah (questionable), Knight, Pascanu, Muskwe, Ndukwu, Doodo, Uche etc etc 

 

That is the best batch of players that we’d class as grown we’ve produced in a while. 
 

Before that, you’d be looking at the class of King, Gradel, Weslowski, Dodds, Sheehan, Porter, Stearman etc

..I  can't endorse your list of present day academy products!!!

  The majority of that list have failed to nail down places at league one or League Two and effectively lost within the system. 

  Just going through that list it would be Interesting to see which player spent a long tenure within the U23s and it is there we should start evaluating the success of our academy system. I  think you will find that 75% of the listed have spent a good deal of time in the U23s. 

  It seems like the more you avoid the U23s the better your chance for success.

 

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To your first point I would say it’s a balance. We have proven and now become renowned for finding talented unproven players from overseas and turning them into something really special.

Our academy products seem good so far it’s not a conveyor belt yet like others have said but we’re starting to gain some momentum.

i love the fact we are a one city club that is competing with the very best. The better and bigger we come the more interest and talent we will attract. Also near and dear to me is hoping to see a future city star emerge from our proud Asian community. The next Mahrez could be homegrown? I can only dream :trumpet:

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I recall seeing a documentary years ago about scouting young players, the scouts were bemoaning the fact that if the players were offered contracts with the likes of Liverpool or Man U. that they were far more likely to join them rather than any other club. The likes of Leicester etc. were simply left to try to sign what was left.

Even today youngsters would probably still prefer to sign for what has been traditionally a "Top Club".

Hopefully now things will change, we are riding high in the league and beginning to become more well known. We have one of the finest training grounds in the PL.

If we can become known as a club that gives top class coaching, all of this will hopefully attract the more talented youngsters away from the likes of the aforementioned.

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