Revealed! Premier League clubs ranked by their greatest ever homegrown player

first_img 8. Sol Campbell – Tottenham Hotspur – This will upset a few Spurs fans who believe it should be Ledley King, but Campbell’s career was far better. The former England defender played 73 times in a decent era for the national team, as well as winning four FA Cups, a League Cup and two Premier League titles – including being an integral part of the 2004 Arsenal ‘invincibles’. 17. Saido Berahino – West Bromwich Albion – Berahino may have thrown his toys out of the pram recently but he could have a big future ahead of him after a great start to his professional career. 20. Clayton Donaldson – Hull City (click the arrow, right, to see who is considered your club’s best homegrown player in the Premier League era, and which player is ranked number one) – N.B. Only players who made their senior football debut during the Premier League era (1992/93 season onwards), having represented the same club at youth level, are included. The club cannot have paid any fee or compensation to sign them (for example, the compensation paid by Arsenal to Barcelona for Cesc Fabregas rules him out of consideration for this homegrown ranking). And total career achievements are taken into account when deciding the ranking of each homegrown player, not just their achievements at the club where they emerged. At 20, Hull haven’t got a whole lot to shout about in regards to their academy graduates, so Donaldson is as good as it gets. The striker made his debut for Hull in 2002 after progressing through their youth team following his release from Bradford. He went on to help Brentford achieve League One promotion and scored 11 Championship goals for Birmingham City last season. Not bad, but only good enough for 20th place in our ranking of Premier League clubs’ top homegrown talent. 20 20 20 20 20 20 9. Jordan Henderson – Sunderland – Henderson joined his hometown club at the age of eight and made his professional debut ten years later. His performances earned him the club’s Young Player of the Year two years running, earning the attention of Manchester United and Liverpool, joining and now captaining the latter, as well as being an England squad regular. 20 20 15. Danny Ings – Bournemouth – Ings joined Bournemouth after he was released as a schoolboy by Southampton before making his debut aged only 17 for the Cherries. He scored seven times in 27 games before Burnley took notice and signed him for around £1m. The compensation Liverpool paid Burnley for him was an English record but he spent much of last season out injured. 20 20 1. Gareth Bale – Southampton – He may not have done too much for Southampton since becoming the Saints’ second youngest ever player when he made he debut aged 16, but he is one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen. His goals for Tottenham took them to the Champions League before he became the world’s most expensive player. At Real Madrid he has won two Champions Leagues in his three seasons as well as dragging Wales to Euro 2016 almost single-handedly, then on to a semi-final place. The British game hasn’t seen a player consistently make such an individual impact around the football world for a long time, and Bale is arguably the greatest ever footballer to leave the UK and play abroad. 18. Clinton Morrison – Crystal Palace – Morrison scored 61 goals in 157 appearances for the Eagles in his first spell before returning to the club for a further 41 goals in 124 games. He went on to play for a host of other clubs throughout the Football League and now turns out for Redditch United in the Southern League Premier Division. 20 20 20 2. Paul Scholes – Manchester United – Like Adams with Arsenal, Ryan Giggs doesn’t qualify for our ranking as he made his debut outside of the Premier League era, so the honour goes to Scholes. He came through the youth system with the likes of David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Giggs and Gary and Phil Neville as the ‘Class of ’92’ and won 11 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and three FA Cups. And if that is not enough, Scholes has been lauded as the best midfielder of his generation by the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Andreas Iniesta and Xavi. 13. Lee Cattermole – Middlesbrough – Cattermole was at Middlesbrough for seven years before making his senior debut at the age of 17 and bring named the club’s youngest ever captain in the same season. He has played a key role in a number of current club Sunderland’s successful Premier League survivals since leaving Boro. 10. Ashley Young – Watford – Young was initially turned away from Watford’s academy after an unsuccessful spell but improved and forced his way back to the club before making his debut as an 18-year-old. He scored 19 goals in 98 games and helped the club to the Premier League before moving on to Aston Villa and then Manchester United, where he has won the Premier League and the FA Cup. 14. Stephen Ireland – Manchester City – Micah Richards misses out because City paid a fee for him as a youth player so Ireland, who joined the club at the age of 15, gets the nod. He played 138 times for City and was named the club’s Player of the Year for 2008/09. He is now at Stoke after a spell at Aston Villa but only made 16 appearances for the Potters last term. 20 11. Andy King – Leicester City – Devon-born Welshman King has spent his whole career with the Foxes after being released as a Chelsea schoolboy at the age of 15. King is their highest scoring midfielder with 53 goals and won League One, the Championship and the Premier League with the club. 20 5. Steven Gerrard – Liverpool – After 18 years of service to Liverpool, Gerrard has gone down in history as one of the club’s greatest ever players. He joined the Reds academy as a nine-year-old and went on to become one of the players of his generation and club captain, but failed to lead Liverpool to that elusive Premier League title. He did, however, inspire the club to an incredible Champions League triumph, and scored in and won FA Cup, UEFA Cup and League Cup finals. Not bad, considering Liverpool were consistently inferior to the cream of the Premier League and Europe during his career. He emotionally left the Reds to join Cole at LA Galaxy but is expected to retire at the end of the season. 16. Jay Rodriguez – Burnley – Injury has hampered his Southampton career but the former Burnley man has scored 52 goals in his professional career, since making his debut for the Clarets in 2007 after working his way through their youth system. 19. Karl Henry – Stoke City – Henry made 120 appearances for the Potters after joining them as a youth player in 1998. He is currently at QPR but also played in the Premier League with Wolves after helping them achieve promotion. Homegrown players who progress through the academy are a rare thing in the Premier League nowadays; with the embarrassing riches for clubs meaning foreign players are often a more enticing option.Jose Mourinho, in particular, has come under criticism of this, which led him to vehemently defend his record with youth players.But how have the current Premier League clubs done with bringing through academy graduates?Click the arrow above, right, as talkSPORT ranks the best academy graduates from each other the 20 top-flight clubs.N.B. Only players who made their senior football debut during the Premier League era (1992/93 season onwards), having represented the same club at youth level, are included. The club cannot have paid any fee or compensation to sign them (for example, the compensation paid by Arsenal to Barcelona for Cesc Fabregas rules him out of consideration for this homegrown ranking). 4. John Terry – Chelsea – As a boy, Terry was part of West Ham’s youth system but he left for Chelsea at 14 at a time when youth players were not tied to contracts, hence why the Blues paid no compensation. Terry has spent 18 years at Stamford Bridge so far, playing 483 times, scoring 40 goals and winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League as captain. 3. Wayne Rooney – Everton – Rooney joined Everton aged nine and was prolific through the youth ranks, scoring 114 goals in 29 games for the under-10s and 11s. He famously scored his first goal against Arsenal to propel him onto the world scene before joining Manchester United and becoming one of the club’s greatest ever players; he is currently only four goals shot of becoming their highest ever goalscorer. He has also won virtually every major club trophy since leaving Everton but still says he loves the club, despite outraging a large proportion of Toffees fans when he left for Old Trafford in 2004. 20 7. Ashley Cole – Arsenal – Cole started his youth career at the Gunners, made his debut aged 18 and was one of the ‘invincibles’. However he is hated by Arsenal fans who believe he betrayed the club by moving to Chelsea, where he won every trophy possible. Tony Adams doesn’t qualify for the Gunners as he made his debut outside of the Premier League era. Cole still plays in MLS for LA Galaxy. 20 20 20 20 12. Joe Allen – Swansea City – Welsh-speaker Allen joined Swansea at the age of nine, spending 13 years at the club before joining Liverpool. During that period he played for the Swans in League One, the Championship and the Premier League. He could find himself back in South Wales this summer with the Swans keen to bring him back from Liverpool after a fine Euro 2016. 6. Frank Lampard – West Ham United – Lampard is the best of a line of fantastic youth products to come out of West Ham, such as Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Mark Noble. However, Lampard’s career after he left the Hammers edges him just past Ferdinand as he became one of the best midfielders in the world and won every trophy possible with Chelsea, before moving to Manchester City and then MLS with New York City. last_img read more