Andrey Santos

Which Ligue 1 Clubs Trust Young Players the Most?

Which Ligue 1 Clubs Trust Young Players the Most?

Publish on 04/09 at 23:00 - E. RAZO


Ligue 1 allows young talents to showcase their skillset, so discover detailed statistics regarding how playing time is distributed among players born in 2004 or later for this season. Here's an overview of who the most frequently utilized players are and what player is proving to be the most influential on the pitch.

Strasbourg's young talents are lighting up the field and bringing joy back to Racing. In just two minutes, Marvin Senaya (23 years old) and Jérémy Sebas (who turns 21 on April 14th) secured a crucial victory for RC Strasbourg Alsace against Julien Stéphan's Stade Rennais on March 31st, sealing a 2-0 win. 

Patrick Vieira and his team are unbeaten in their last three matches, propelling the Alsace team to a comfortable lead of seven points over the relegation play-off spot, which FC Lorient currently occupies. 

Despite enduring a challenging streak of eight winless matches before the win over Rennes, RCSA continued to believe in their youthful talents. Among them are goalkeeper Alaa Bellaarouch and Brazilian sensation Andrey Santos.

Santos, who arrived on loan from Chelsea during the winter transfer window, made an immediate impact at just 19 years old as he's impressing under the guidance of Vieira. Partnered in midfield with the immensely talented Habib Diarra (20), Santos has showcased remarkable skill and decision-making on the field. 

During this period, Strasbourg also gave playing time to five players born in 2004 or later (Ali Abdallah, Nzingoula, Baseya, Santos, and Angelo), a proven fruitful strategy. Notably, Brazilian Angelo emerges as the team's second-best assist provider in Ligue 1 with three. Additionally, three other players born in 2003 (Emegha, Mwanga, and Sebas) have significantly contributed to the team's success.

This reliance on youthful talent comes at a crucial juncture of the season when the stakes are high and suspense fills the air. Despite Toulouse boasting the youngest team of the season, with an average age of just 24 years and 27 days, coach Carles Novell has shown confidence in his players. Only two of them, Christian Mawissa and Guillaume Restes, were born in 2005, and since Matchday 1, he's introduced three more youth players into the lineup.

There are 80 Gems Born Since 2004 in Ligue 1 

Throughout the season, Strasbourg finds itself at the top of the leaderboard alongside Stade de Reims and Lyon in terms of fielding the most players born from 2004 onwards, with seven players in Ligue 1.

Rennes, renowned for its youth academy, has also made a mark with six talents born from 2004 onwards. Notably, four of them were born in 2005 - Guéla Doué, Jeanuël Belocian, Mahamadou Nagida, and Jérémy Jacquet. This tally matches FC Metz and LOSC Lille, with the latter showcasing the youngest player to grace France's top flight this season, Ayyoub Bouaddi, born in October 2007.

In terms of distribution by birth year, among the 80 players born from 2004 onwards in Ligue 1, the breakdown is as follows:

  • One player born in 2007

  • Eight players born in 2006

  • 30 players born in 2005

  • 41 players born in 2004

Reims players like Valentin Atangana, Mamadou Diakhon, Amadou Koné, Thérence Koudou, Yaya Fofana, and Adama Bojang are seeing limited minutes on the field in the top league, ranking 11th in terms of playing time. In contrast, Lyon players, including Saël Kumbedi, Malick Fofana, Mahamadou Diawara and Mohamed El Arouch, are placed 7th. 

However, the young talents of RCSA are making a mark, securing the third spot in terms of performance, closely trailing behind Toulouse and Metz. Lamine Camara, leading Metz's team and ranking third in terms of playing time this season among players born from 2004 onwards, is spearheading their charge.

Restes is the Standard-bearer for the Youngsters

Toulouse FC owes much of its current top spot to Restes's breakthrough performance. Standing out as the season's standout revelation, the Toulouse goalkeeper has played a crucial role, covering an impressive 65 percent of the minutes played for a young player. For comparison, Habib Diarra only commands 57 percent of the playing time for Strasbourg.

It's hardly surprising that Restes is taking the lead among young players, having logged 2430 minutes and 27 starts, surpassing players such as Lille's Leny Yoro, who has logged 2218 minutes. 

Remarkably, only nine players born in 2004 or later have played over 1,000 minutes in Ligue 1 this season. Here's a breakdown of the standout performers based on their year of birth:


  • Born in 2006: Warren Zaïre-Emery (PSG), with 1705 minutes.

  • Born in 2005: Guillaume Restes (TFC), leading with 2430 minutes.

  • Born in 2004: Lamine Camara (FCM), with 2218 minutes.

Eli Junior Kroupi: Setting a level that none of his peers have yet reached

In Ligue 1, the Lorient players are stealing the spotlight. The young Merlus players have been directly involved in ten goals. Eli Junior Kroupi leads the pack with an impressive tally of eight goal involvements to his name. 

Kroupi has also showcased his talent in 931 minutes of play so far this season. Another young talent shining offensively is Doué, who has topped his opponents, contributing seven goal involvements, aiding his team in securing second place in the young goal-scoring stat, tied with Strasbourg and Metz.

Here are the top scorers among players born in 2004:


  • Eli Junior Kroupi: five goals

  • Désiré Doué: three goals

  • Leny Yoro, Habib Diarra, Khalil Fayad, and Christian Mawissa: two goals each

PSG's international sensation, Warren Zaire-Emery, has also propelled himself to fourth place in playing time this season while registering two goals and two assists. The capital club also stands out as the team that has given the most playing time to players born in 2006 this season, with three youngsters - Ethan Mbappé, Senny Mayulu, and Zaïre-Emery - among the eight who have taken to the Ligue 1 pitch this season.

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