By Sean Fisher

1st Dec, 2022 | 2:40pm

Leeds United academy no longer the force it once was as CIES statistics emerge

Leeds United are still enjoying plenty of success from young players, but those stars aren’t necessarily coming from the club’s academy.

Leeds United boast an incredibly young squad in the Premier League this season – something the club has always prided itself on.

However, the amount players that have actually risen through the academy ranks at Thorp Arch is surprisingly small.

According to the latest CIES study, only 3.9% of Leeds United players are club-trained, with most of the club’s young stars purchased from elsewhere and then introduced to the Leeds youth setup.

Crysencio Summerville, for example, was raised and trained by Feyenoord before his move to Elland Road. Mateo Joseph is a product of Espanyol and Sonny Perkins of West Ham.

It’s a strategy implemented by Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani since their takeover, with focus being on picking up young European talent for cheap and then slowly integrating them into the first team.

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It’s certainly a strategy that works too – Leeds have found some hidden gems throughout their transfer business – but it does feel as though it kills a little part of the club’s soul.

The younger stages of the Thorp Arch academy have effectively been rendered useless, with many future stars in the setup surely demotivated as they watch their spot snapped up by an expensive young signing.

Nothing is better than one of the club’s own coming up and settling into the first team. Kalvin Phillips is the perfect example of how much the fanbase takes to one of its own.

Hopefully the latest homegrown talent is already working his way up the ranks at Thorp Arch.

In other Leeds United news, negotiations for the Sasa Lukic deal will begin when the World Cup finishes