By 90Min
July 20, 2017

​Manchester United academy products played twice as many minutes as any other side's in the Premier League last season.

A Press Association study using data available from ​Soccerway revealed that players graduating from the Red Devils' academy featured in a combined total of 44,055 minutes during the 2016-17 campaign.

Tottenham's youth academy followed behind United, although with a considerably lower total of 21,668 league minutes.

Manchester United's Dutch midfielder Daley Blind (L), Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford (C) and Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard attend a team training session at the club's training complex near Carrington, west of Manchester in northwest England on May 3, 2017, ahead of their UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg football match against Celta Vigo. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

35 players who began their careers in the United academy featured in the Premier League last season, including the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, Burnley's Tom Heaton and Michael Keane, and Leicester duo Danny Drinkwater and Danny Simpson.

Ryan Giggs, United's record appearance holder, has pointed to the work done by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson as instrumental in the success of the club's youth setup.

"I think you have to go back to when Sir Alex first joined the club and overhauled the whole youth system," he said.

Manchester United's Welsh midfielder Ryan Giggs (L) looks on during a press conference with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on March 4, 2013, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round second leg football match against Real Madid. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

"He made sure there was a pathway for young, local players to get into the first team. 

"From then on the youth system and that pathway to the first team has just got stronger and stronger, so when parents are picking a team for their son to go to and they want them to get to the first team, they pick United because you've seen over the years Man United give young players a chance.

"Then there is the coaching, the way they are looked after, the way first-team players look after the young players coming into the team. There's a number of reasons, but I think you have to go back 30 years ago to when it all started."


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