Charlton's academy keeps producing young players who make the grade

31 July 2019 08:47
Five years ago Konsa, Grant, Gomez and Lookman played for Charlton’s Under-18s. Now they are bringing in big transfer fees By Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsWhen Ademola Lookman joined RB Leipzig from Everton for £22.5m last week, the transfer fees spent on four former Charlton youth teammates hit £50m. Aston Villa signed England Under-21 defender Ezri Konsa from Brentford for £12m in July, following Karlan Grant’s move to Huddersfield in January, Lookman’s £11m move to Everton in 2017, and Liverpool’s £3.5m deal for Joe Gomez in 2015. How does a club that has spent the last three seasons in the third tier produce so much talent – including four youngsters who all played together in their Under-18s five years ago?I had the privilege of working with Charlton’s academy for seven years. In that time, they signed 72 apprentices (known in football as scholars). Twenty-nine of them (40%) are still playing professionally in the Premier League, Football League or top European leagues. Given that less than 15% of scholars become professionals, that is quite an achievement. Related: Ademola Lookman leaves Everton with potential unfulfilled there | Andy Hunter Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian