The alternative Championship table which sees West Brom, QPR and Rotherham United bottom

The 2023/24 Championship regular season has concluded and now we can see which team gave the most minutes to their young players.

West Brom are into the Championship play-offs where they will play Southampton after Hull City failed to catch them.

The Baggies needed a point to confirm their participation in the end-of-season showpiece and they went one further by making easy work of the Lilywhites. Alex Mowatt, Kyle Bartley and Darnell Furlong were on target as Carlos Corberan’s men secured a fifth spot after Norwich City lost to relegated Birmingham City.

Each team has a way of going about their business to get where they want to and in West Brom’s case, they’re probably the story of the play-offs. The club didn’t spend a transfer fee for any of their signings this year and relied on loanees and free transfers to get over the line.

Some teams can afford to give some young players an opportunity in the hope of them not only being good players but also profitable assets. West Brom have produced some talented youngsters over the years but in recent years, they’ve perhaps favoured using more accomplished players. 

An interesting bit of research has been done looking at which clubs made the biggest commitment to giving minutes to players under the age of 24. The age of 24 has been chosen as usually a player is considered young up until the point of about their 23rd birthday. 

If we look at West Brom’s squad, a lot of those who played were 25 or older. No team gets any extra points for playing younger or older players, but it does help paint a picture of the club’s current strategy. 

Tom Fellows played 1489 minutes in the league this year with 14 starts and 19 substitute appearances. The 20-year-old registered four goals and three assists and signed a new deal amid interest from Everton and Southampton.

Callum Marshall arrived from West Ham having been prolific at Premier League 2 level but he was barely afforded an opportunity in the Midlands. The 19-year-old played just 54 minutes before it was decided that the best course of action was to return to his parent club.

Here, we take a look at how West Brom compare to the likes of Leeds United, Swansea City, Southampton and others on the proportion of minutes played by those under the age of 21 years old. 

*These findings are based on a player’s age at the season start date and were produced by Chris Weatherspoon.

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