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United lead the way in playing graduates

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Adam Marshall

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By our reckoning, the 11 homegrown players fielded by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2019/20 exceeds the numbers recorded by all the other clubs in the division.

Chelsea, due to be our FA Youth Cup semi-final opponents, come in a close second, ahead of fellow London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

There have been 11 United men who were raised at the club and have got on the pitch in the top flight this term - Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams.

Chelsea are one behind with 10 - Tammy Abraham, Faustino Anjorin, Armando Broja, Andreas Christensen, Billy Gilmour, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, Tariq Lamptey, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.

Arsenal have called upon Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock, and that's not counting Gabriel Martinelli, who joined at 18.

Spurs, meanwhile, can list Harry Kane, Oliver Skipp, Troy Parrott, Japhet Tanganga, Kyle Walker-Peters and Harry Winks as their Academy stars.

In terms of a comparison of the actual appearances made by the United and Chelsea players, the Reds come out on top.

Chelsea totalled 124 appearances for youth products, while Solskjaer has handed out 137 in 2019/20, so far.

Although Frank Lampard has given more starts to his charges (97-87), two of his youngsters only made brief debuts off the bench in their most recent outing (Faustino Anjorin and Armando Broja) - a comfortable 4-0 victory over Everton earlier this month.

And, looking at goals, the Reds edge this one as well (25-21) with Rashford (14) and Abraham (13) leading the way for their respective sides.

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Adam Marshall

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