It’s not every day that West Ham fans can claim to have beaten some of Europe’s elite clubs, but the Hammers have won a fair few bragging rights after the latest reveal on how successful their academy is.
By contrast, Barcelona are 11th and Ajax are 12th.
To some, this will come as no great surprise. West Ham have always had an illustrious academy system that has produced some of the finest players in recent English history.
The standout it is of course Declan Rice, who has already established himself as one of the finest defensive midfielders in the Premier League, with a pass rate of 86.9% and an average of 2.9 tackles per game last season [Whoscored].
Beyond Rice, the likes of Grady Diangana and Ben Johnson are pushing hard for regular spots, and this coming season could be a big one for Nathan Holland and Conor Coventry, amongst others.
In short, this report shows what a lot of people have known for a while – the Irons are on the right track.