It has often been theorised that the area of England that a young player practices in will impact their chances of becoming a professional footballer.
Following a study into current top English players and all-time greats, it was found that both historically and in modern times, there is a geographical bias when it comes to areas of England producing top talent.
The study by Betting.net revealed that of the top 50 English players of all-time, London dominated as both the place that sired greats and trained them. Of the 50, 16 came from London, and 17 were developed in London academies. Close behind London is the North West, which spawned 12 all-time greats and developed 15 in its academies.
But, when comparing the best English players of all-time to the current batch of top England stars, a power switch has been demonstrated. Fewer top players are emerging from London, and other areas of the country are pulling their weight more. But, despite this, the North West has remained a fortress of football talent.
Of the best 53 English players right now, 14 are North West natives — all of which honed their skills in North West academies — with three more talents moving from elsewhere to develop in the region. In modern times, a power shift has been observed between the clubs of the country that falls in line with these findings.
While West Ham was once hailed for producing much of England's ‘golden generation', the club has now fallen by the wayside. Manchester United has remained a stronghold for producing top English talent, as has Arsenal and Southampton, but it was also found that Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have emerged as key developers of English players.
The North West region continues to better its standing as a behemoth of creating top English footballers. While Manchester United has remained strong, clubs like Everton upping their game has helped to keep this fine tradition in the North West.