Why are football teams unwilling to give youth a chance?

The Financial Times' Simon Kuper spoke to Off the Ball

BY Daniel Kelly 12:02 Wednesday 2 March 2016, 12:02 2 Mar 2016

Picture by: Jon Super / AP/Press Association Images

Marcus Rashford's arrival to the Manchester United has reawoken the conversation about youngsters being given the chance to impress in top-class teams.

The Manchester United striker was unheard of last week, but scoring four goals in two games has quickly changed that. His weekly wage is also expected to enter the five-figure bracket on the back of his performances.

Off the Ball spoke to the Financial Times' Simon Kuper on Wednesday night about how youngsters are rarely given the chance at top clubs. He spoke about how teams such as Manchester United need to be consistently in the top-ten clubs in the World, and to be in a team of that calibre, players need to be in the top-100 in the World. "The brute fact is that almost no teenager will ever be at that level."

Players who have performed well as teenagers, may not necessarily mean they become World stars. "At 16, it's very hard to know who is going go on and who wont. By 19, you have much more of a guarantee that a guy is going to be a good pro."

Economically, Kuper thinks that older players are poor financial value. He speaks of the "enormous waste of money" players receive when earning new deals in their late twenties after their physical peak. "Salary-scales are wrong", Kuper added as younger players who are entering their peak tend to earn less.

He concluded that "it's unusual for teenagers to be World-class and I think it's wrong to expect of managers that they give that teenager a chance when he's not ready yet."


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