The oldest and youngest teams in the Premier League in 2023-24

We take a look at the average age of each Premier League team’s starting eleven this season to determine who fields the oldest and youngest teams… and we also wonder what the implications are of playing against a young or old.

Age really is just a number, at least in the Premier League. And we have the statistics to prove it.

With elder statesmen like Thiago Silva, James Milner and Ashley (not so) Young still strong at the top while, at least generally speaking, most fans would prefer their teams to look at the youngsters and try to build for the future, We’ve taken a look at the average age of each team to see if younger teams are doing better.

At the end of last season, wAnd we look at what teams show most faith in young players, and found that while Arsenal ran close to Manchester City in the title race with the second-lowest average age of their starting eleven (25 years and 51 days), overall, the youngest teams fared the worst results. The three teams, apart from Arsenal, with the youngest average starting eleven – Southampton (25 years, 41 days), Leeds United (25 years, 285 days) and Leicester City (26 years, 155 days) – were relegated.

This goes against what is often perceived as wisdom: that it is inherently positive to have younger players because doing so means they can develop and build a better future. Some coaches also prefer to work with younger players because they are more malleable and more likely to adopt your ideas quickly.

But what about the here and now? Well, in 2023-24, there is less correlation between age and league position, but there is a chance that the three who go down will be among the youngest. The surely doomed pair, Burnley and Sheffield United, have the lowest average age (24 years, 257 days) and the seventh lowest (26 years, 75 days) of their starting eleven this season respectively.

The last team in the relegation zone is Nottingham Forest, who have the sixth-youngest team on average (26 years, 50 days), although they are only in the bottom three due to their recent points deduction. Everton, who had their own points deduction, and Brentford are looking over their shoulders after having fielded teams at the older end of the scale.

Here’s a breakdown of the teams that will field the youngest and oldest starting eleven in the Premier League this season.

The youngest teams in the Premier League in 2023-24

Vincent Kompany has been bold with the football his team has played since promotion to the top flight (too bold, some would say) and he has also been bold with his trust in youth. With players like 19-year-old Luca Koleosho (13) and Wilson Odobert (16) starting a decent proportion of their games, and 21-year-old James Trafford (28) only missing one game, the average age of Burnley players The starting XI in their first season in the big time are just 24 years and 257 days old.

burnley team age profile

They are the youngest team in the Premier League this season and also significantly younger than all the teams from last season. Given how poorly Burnley have fared in 2023-24 (they’ve only won four of their 29 games), history could repeat itself for this season’s younger team. Time will tell if the experience Burnley’s youngsters are gaining at the highest level will help them in the long term, or if their recent victory over Brentford can launch one of the greatest escapes in Premier League history. But things aren’t looking great for the youngest team in the division.

Chelsea have the second-youngest squad, with Mauricio Pochettino’s expensive squad of young (and mainly attacking) players, meaning they have an average age of their starting eleven of 24 years and 280 days. They are struggling this season and are currently languishing in 11th place, although that will surely have more to do with the speed with which the team was formed and with which it was expected to perform, rather than anything particularly bad about the fact that they are youths.

They would be the ‘top’ of this list if it were not for the presence of central defender Thiago Silva, 39, who has started in 22 of Chelsea’s 27 games this season. As the team profile graphic below shows, Silva is the only Chelsea player over the age of 30.

chelsea team age profile

The average age of Arsenal’s starting XI in Premier League matches in 2023-24 is 25 years and 62 days, making the current leaders the third-youngest team in the league. Manager Mikel Arteta likes to use young players (in 2022 he introduced the youngest player in Premier League history) and has revamped his squad this season. His starting eleven has only been 11 days older in 2023-24 on average than in 2022-23, so he hopes the players who were there a year ago have learned from the collapse they suffered in the final weeks of the campaign. .

The fourth youngest team is Tottenham, whose lack of experience has become evident as the season has progressed. However, most would agree that the future looks much brighter to them than it did a year ago.

Ange Postecoglou has revamped the team since arriving in the summer, and the signings of younger players such as Micky van de Ven and Guglielmo Vicario and increased playing time for Pape Matar Sarr have reduced the team’s average age. Spurs had the third-oldest average starting XI (27 years, 356 days) in the Premier League in 2022-23 and former manager Antonio Conte focused much more on experience than youth, but they now find themselves at the extreme youngest on the scale. (25 years, 152 days).

The oldest teams in the Premier League in 2023-24

Fulham and West Ham have continued exactly where they left off last season. After qualifying as the oldest and second oldest team, respectively, in the Premier League in 2022-23 with the only starting eleven having an average age over 28, they have maintained their top spots. In 2023-24, Fulham have the oldest average starting eleven at 29 years and 28 days, followed by West Ham at 28 years and 209 days.

Experience hasn’t helped Fulham much; They are as inconsistent as Premier League teams. They recently beat Manchester United and Tottenham, but also lost to Wolves and drew with relegation-fighting Burnley and Everton. They have only won consecutive Premier League games twice all season and have never won more than two in a row. Additionally, they have only lost two games in a row.

fulham team age profile

They are right in the middle of the table, unable so far to put together a run of results good enough to force their way into the conversation for European qualification. With first-team regulars in Willian (35), Tim Ream (36) and Tom Cairney (33) all on the wrong side of 30, they may need a summer upgrade.

West Ham have had an irregular season, but have returned to seventh place in the table after a run of four games without losing. David Moyes continues to do a fantastic job and could realistically achieve a top six finish this season, but speculation remains over his position beyond this season as his contract expires in the summer.

west ham team age profile

Any doubt surrounding him is perhaps partly because he has older players and has not brought in many youngsters to secure West Ham’s long-term future. People look at the team he has built and are not particularly encouraged that he is the man who will lead them for years to come. But if they are winning enough games here and now to be in the race for European qualification and in the Europa League quarter-finals, does it matter if they are not the youngest?

The lack of a trend in the numbers suggests there is little to deduce from the average age of each team’s starting eleven in 2023-24.

But having said that, it’s still natural to wonder how much better Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs can become as their current teams get used to playing together. Meanwhile, Burnley will need to improve a lot quite quickly if they are to survive.

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