Football Observatory Shows Ajax Is Top Academy In European Big 5 Leagues

CIES study: Most active players trained, top 5 leagues

1. Ajax (NED) 77
2. Partizan Belgrade (SER)  74
3. Barcelona (ESP) 57
7. Real Madrid (ESP) 47
15. Lyon (FRA) 40
18. Manchester Utd (ENG) 39
22. PSG (FRA) 35
28. Arsenal (ENG) 33
31. Bayern (GER) 32
33. Monaco (FRA) 30
40. Lens (FRA) 28
44. Rennes (FRA) 27
44. Stuttgart (GER) 27
49. Athletic Bilbao (ESP) 26
49. Real Sociedad (ESP) 26
49. Valencia (ESP) 26
49. Metz (FRA) 26
49. Montpellier (FRA) 26
59. Bordeaux (FRA) 25
66. Atlético Madrid (ESP) 24
71. Manchester City (ENG) 23
71. Internazionale (ITA) 23
82. Caen (FRA) 22
82. Toulouse (FRA) 22
82. Atalanta (ITA) 22
92. Sevilla (ESP) 21
92. Nantes (FRA) 21
92. Lille (FRA) 21

Gone are the day of Ajax’s European dominance. There’s just not enough money in the Eredivisie to allow Ajax to have the funds to compete with the big boys. They are still good enough to frequently win the Eredivisie and are almost always in the Champions League but they no longer have very good odds of making the finals. However, Ajax revolutionized soccer and it’s academy and scouting department have always been the creme of the crop in Europe so is no surprise that they are the top academy for producing players in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

Facts such as these makes one kind of disappointed that Ajax is always forced to sell their players. Imagine if they had the ability to hold onto their most talented players? This is a team that could have theoretically fielded a front-line of Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Unfortunately, this is the way European club system works. The smaller clubs find and develop the talent and then sell it to the bigger clubs. It isn’t exactly fair but it will only get worse as these TV deals get bigger and bigger. The best hope ajax has is to prevent themselves from becoming completely irrelevant.


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