I'm glad you beat me to it. Great article to read.
"People can argue about the relative strength of the Premier League compared to La Liga, but with the Premier League’s declining performances in Europe year-on-year, are we really pulling the “strength” card? Nathaniel Chalobah was not good enough to start a single game when N’Golo Kanté and Nemanja Matić looked tired? Lewis Baker is not good enough to play against Brighton or Huddersfield? Jérémie Boga is not good enough to play at least 1,000 minutes next season? 30 minutes (home/away) against the bottom 10 in the Premier League (600 minutes) + starts against the fourth seed in the Champions League group (180 minutes) + starts in all cup competitions (180 minutes minimum) = almost 1,000 minutes of football (conservatively). Is that so hard to manufacture for a top class youngster? The way some fans talk about academy players is as if we are dropping a Sunday League competition winner into the side and not a top calibre youth international."
"Marcus Rashford’s emergence at Manchester United was less by design than it was complete luck. His arrival came a few months after he was completely marked out of a game by Fikayo Tomori, as Chelsea U18s swept Manchester United U18s 5-1 in the FA Youth Cup."
"Ultimately, if the board are sincere about having some academy presence within the first team, then changes are required. Honestly, it is not difficult to manufacture minutes for a top prospect. Mohamed Salah, who could barely control a football at Chelsea, managed to play 500 Premier League minutes in half a season. So, it cannot be difficult to find 1,000 minutes across all competitions for an academy player. The club must either make development a key performance indicator for a head coach or give the head coach long enough to implement an entire philosophical overhaul without pulling the plug halfway through. Either way the coach must feel confident enough in their own future to want to commit to developing players."
In a nutshell. It presents both sides of the coin but I thought a common thread throughtout was we/the top 4 should be bringing in top level players and supplementing them with academy players if we want them to develop here at the club.
There's something in here for everyone, it addresses my favorite, or least favorite, peeve in Hiddink for some reason giving none of our young players a run out when we had 2 months of nothing to play for.
I found it depressing Sane has played more PL minutes for City than the entire Chelsea team his Shalke team played.
It also dispells the notion no elite clubs use academy products, they just don't buy good players who will never be 1st choice to block those young players from having a chance.
Maybe this is a large part of the reason why we see English clubs paying so much more for players than German or Italian teams. Our top clubs are more willing to buy 'good' players to fill out their benches and we're paying through the nose for it.