Welcome to The Data Day, our rolling football stats blog for 2021-22, where we try and make sense of what just happened.

August 26

Grab a Pint of Carabao…

The Carabao Cup welcomed back the Premier League clubs this midweek as Round 2 kicked off. Here’s a look at some of the top-line numbers as we overview the action from Tuesday and Wednesday.

Premier Power

2021-22’s second round saw just two Premier League clubs exit – Crystal Palace and Newcastle, with both of these suffering eliminations from two other top-flight teams. Not since 2016-17 (one) have we seen as few Premier League clubs eliminated at this stage of the competition.

At first glance, 41 goals from the 13 Premier League clubs over the last two nights feels like a lot – it’s 3.15 per game, after all. However, it’s only the most since Round 3 from last season when the 14 top-flight sides over those three nights scored 48 times.

Saints Go Marching In On

Southampton enjoyed their biggest away win in their history last night, as they thrashed League Two outfit Newport County.

This win also equalled the biggest away wins seen in the history of the English League Cup, with Southampton becoming the first team to score eight times away from home in the competition in 21 years.

October 3, 1989: Aldershot 0-8 Sheffield Wednesday (Round 2, Leg 2)
August 11, 1997: Doncaster Rovers 0-8 Nottingham Forest (Round 1, Leg 1)
November 29, 2000: Stoke City 0-8 Liverpool (Round 4)
August 25, 2021: Newport County 0-8 Southampton (Round 2)

Mohamed Elyounoussi scored three of Southampton’s goals in the win and in doing so became the first Norwegian to score a hat-trick in professional English football since Josh King for Bournemouth vs. West Ham in the Premier League back in March 2017.

Hat-Trick Happy

Mohamed Elyounoussi wasn’t the only player to net a hat-trick in this round of the League Cup, as his feat was replicated by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Aiden O’Brien (Sunderland), Cameron Archer (Aston Villa) and Morgan Whittaker (Swansea).

With five hat-trick scorers in Round 2 this season, that’s the most in a single round of the League Cup since Round 1 in 2000-01 with six – but those six came back when there were two-legged ties, so essentially came on different ‘matchdays’. The last time five were scored on a single matchday of the EFL cup was back in 1993-94 when six were scored in Round 2 first-leg matches – Andy Cole scored one on that night for Newcastle United vs. Notts County and then replicated the feat in the second leg just two weeks later. Outstanding.

This next fact comes courtesy of Opta’s UK data hero Tom Ede, who tells us that Tuesday was the first day of League Cup action to see three hat-tricks scored since 25th August 2015. This time around they came from players at Sunderland, Aston Villa, Swansea City. On that last occasion in 2015? Well, they were scored by Sunderland, Aston Villa and…Leicester City. We had you there, didn’t we?

Arsenal Find Their Firepower

Arsenal picked up their first win in an actual stadium of 2021-22. This is including pre-season games against Hibernian, Celtic, Chelsea and Tottenham in addition to their Premier League defeats versus Brentford and Chelsea. They did beat both Watford (4-1) and Millwall (4-1) in friendlies at their London Colney training ground pitch, but I’m not counting that.

This 6-0 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns was their biggest away win in nearly 21 years, with a 6-0 win at QPR in the FA Cup back in January 2001 under Arsene Wenger the last occasion they won by such a large margin on the road.

Following his treble last night, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is now on 88 competitive goals for Arsenal in his 150 appearances at the club. Only eight players in Arsenal history have scored more in their first 150 games, with the last to do so being Ian Wright in November 1994 (108 goals). Thierry Henry had managed eight goals fewer (80) at this point of his Gunners’ career.

It was a much-needed confidence boost for Arteta’s outfit, but it must be said that it came against a West Brom side that made 11 changes from their Championship win away at Blackburn on Saturday and was effectively their second-string. Similar vibes….

League (Cup) of Nations

Andre Tjay De Barr enjoyed a dream debut in English football on Tuesday night. The Gibraltar international joined this summer from Lincoln Red Imps and not only scored an equaliser in injury time to take Wycombe’s tie with Stevenage to penalties, but he went on to score the winning penalty in the shootout.

The last Gibraltarian to score in the competition was David Artell in August 2012 for Northampton Town vs. Cardiff City, but to do this in your first game in England is probably more special. Screenwriters, if you’re reading this then I have an idea: Goal IV: One Night in Stevenage.

Elsewhere, Christos Tzolis scored two goals in Norwich City’s 6-0 demolition of Bournemouth at Carrow Road. He was the first Greek player to score in the League Cup in nearly eight years, with Giorgos Karagounis the last in October 2013 for Fulham.

Tzolis is still only 19 years old and signed for the Canaries this summer after having a hand in nine goals (five goals, four assists) in the Greek Super League for POAK last season – one to keep an eye on in 2021-22.


August 24

What Did You Learn From MD2?

Following matchday two of the 2021-22 Premier League season, we’ve devised a quick 10 question quiz to test your knowledge. How much attention did you really pay to the action this weekend?


August 23

Hammer Time

David Moyes, top of the Premier League. Nine years after he struggled to replace the irreplaceable Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Moyes’ spiritual comeback is complete. After guiding West Ham to sixth place last season the fear was that it would be hard to improve or even replicate that form a year on. And maybe that will turn out to be the case but after walloping FA Cup holders Leicester City 4-1 on Monday night anything seems possible.

West Ham United, top of the Premier League. Two wins out of two for the first time in 24 years and eight goals in their opening pair of matches in a top-flight season since 1930-31. The fans in London Stadium haven’t always been happy, or confined to the stands. They are now.

Michail Antonio, top of the Premier League and top of the all-time West Ham United Premier League goals chart. No man epitomises this team more. Since the start of last season Antonio has a non-penalty expected goals per 90 rate of 0.63, higher than any other player to record 500+ minutes of action. When the underlying numbers and the overlying numbers concur like this you know there will be a madness. And Antonio’s pair of goals were lashed home like a man who knows he is in the form of his life. A player who has spent considerable time in virtually every position on a football pitch is a one-man front three, and Leicester could not handle him at all. They won’t be the last team to suffer like this.

Antonio top WHU scorer

In a league that always throws up sentimental stories, the turnaround in David Moyes’ career is particularly heartwarming. A crazed hybrid of every great manager in football history would have struggled in the job he took on at Old Trafford in 2013, but since the start of last season his West Ham side have the fifth highest points total in the division, with only two fewer than current European champions Chelsea. Now West Ham are looking down on every other football club in the country and you know they’ll enjoy every single moment.


Moyes Super
Your job now is to stand by West Ham’s manager

Standout Stars

This weekend was the first with all top five European leagues in action in 2021-22 and we saw some fantastic displays across the board. We look at some of the standout performances from a statistical point of view from round of action, below.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent-Alexander Arnold helped Liverpool to a solid 2-0 victory over Burnley at Anfield on Saturday, kicking off MD2 in the Premier League.

The English full back assisted Sadio Mané’s goal to wrap up the victory in the 69th minute, with this being one of seven chances he created in the game – equalling his highest-ever tally in a Premier League match. His passes were more dangerous than they’ve ever been in an English top-flight game, with an expected assist total of 1.09 his best-ever in an appearance in the competition.

Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Burnley

He was a constant attacking threat, making six touches in the opposition box, a figure he’s only surpassed once in his Premier League career: versus Burnley back in January (11). Sean Dyche’s team should probably have known what to expect, but even then, could they have stopped him on this form?

Reece James (Chelsea)

Chelsea defeated Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium yesterday, with Romelu Lukaku being a standout performer – something we wrote about yesterday in this blog (scroll down this page). However, another constant thorn in the side of the Gunners was Reece James from right wing back.

James posed his highest ever figures in a Premier League game for expected assists (0.8), shots (four) and touches in the opposition box (nine), with an assist for Lukaku’s opener and scoring the second goal himself.

In addition to his four shots, the English international created four chances for his teammates, meaning he had a hand in over a third of Chelsea’s 22 shots in the match (36%).

Reece James vs Arsenal

Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Leipzig)

Despite joining RB Leipzig from energy drink brothers Salzburg in January, Dominik Szoboszlai wasn’t able to make his Bundesliga debut until last weekend at Mainz thanks to a long-term injury. This injury also ruled him out of Hungary’s Euro 2000 campaign, which was a huge shame considering he scored the goal to take them there.

Only 20 years old, Szoboszlai really announced his arrival in his first Bundesliga start this weekend with a brace in Leipzig’s emphatic 4-0 win over Stuttgart.

His first goal came on 38 minutes, with a brilliant strike from the angle of the box. His second goal came 14 minutes later, but Szoboszlai will have issues convincing people that he meant it. In addition to these goals, he created four chances for his teammates and misplaced just three of his 37 passes in a 68-minute appearance. We can’t wait to see more of this lad.

Andy Delort (Montpellier)

Andy Delort woke up on Sunday morning and decided to cause chaos. The Montpellier forward was at his best in their 3-1 Ligue 1 home win over Lorient, with an involvement in 13 of his side’s shots in the game – attempting eight himself and creating another five for his teammates.

Andy Delort vs Lorient

Only once before has Delort been involved in more shots during a Ligue 1 match. In April 2019, he attempted nine shots and created another five for his teammates against Strasbourg but ended that game without a goal or an assist, which must have been a real kick in the teeth.

Since joining Montpellier from Toulouse in the summer of 2018, the striker has scored 40 goals in Ligue 1 – a figure only bettered by Kylian Mbappé (79), while he also ranks joint-fifth for assists (20).

A frustrating afternoon in front of goal was ended with his eighth and final shot of the match, scoring an uncontested header from a corner in the 83rd minute. It was what Delort deserved after a brilliant performance that helped Montpellier to their first Ligue 1 win of the season and meant that his xG total of exactly one was matched by his goal tally.


August 22

No Ammo for these Gunners

Arsenal have opened up a Premier League season with two defeats for just the third time in their history, after 1992-93 under George Graham and 2019-20 under Unai Emery. The opening-day defeat at newly promoted Brentford was unexpected, but it has to be said that this result was on the cards despite the Gunners great recent record against Chelsea.

Premier League since Arteta was appointed as Arsenal manager

Mikel Arteta has now taken charge of 60 Premier League games at Arsenal since his debut as boss on Boxing Day 2019. With 94 points, they have the sixth-most in the competition since his arrival, but it’s the ever-reducing gap between themselves and the teams not considered as ‘big six’ that’ll be the most alarming. Should Leicester City beat West Ham tomorrow night, they’d leapfrog the Gunners’ 94 points in this period and Everton are only a point behind with 93.

In the 60 games preceding Arteta’s arrival, Arsenal won five points more (99), this despite it containing five games under Freddie Ljungberg and four at the tail-end of Arsène Wenger’s reign to add to the 51 under Unai Emery that were deemed not good enough for him to stay in London.

It doesn’t get any easier for Arsenal, as their next Premier League game sees them make the trip to reigning champions Manchester City. They haven’t lost their first three games to a league season since 1954-55, but the odds are stacked against them avoiding this feat again for the first time in 66 years.


The Return of Rom

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea march on. This London derby win over Arsenal ended a three-game losing streak against the Gunners in all competitions, but this display was a show of dominance from the Blues. Since taking charge of Chelsea on Jan. 26, 2021, Tuchel’s picked up 44 points in 21 games (2.10 per game), with only Manchester City winning more (51) with an extra game played.

One of the major criticisms of Chelsea in 2020-21 was their poor finishing in front of goal, as they underperformed their xG total by 4.9 last season – the fifth worst in the competition. There looks to be little chance of this occurring again this campaign following the signing of Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku put in an awesome display at the Emirates Stadium, here. His 15th-minute strike meant that he scored his 114th Premier League goal, overtaking Ian Wright to become the competition’s 20th-highest scoring player. Lukaku has also become the eighth non-Englishman to score 50+ goals both home and away in the competition.

Including the end of his Internazionale career, Lukaku’s now scored in four successive league appearances and has been involved in 21 goals in his last 19 games in league competition (13 goals, 8 assists).

lukaku v Arsenal

In this match, Lukaku was at his best as a complete centre forward, and a fantastic Bernd Leno save in the 77th minute was all that kept him from a brace. He attempted eight shots and created chances on three more occasions – only once before has the Belgian been involved in 11+ of his sides’ shots in a Premier League match, for Everton versus West Ham in May 2015. If he performs like this regularly this season, then opposition defences ought to be very concerned.


27: Not Out

It’s now 27 games in row without defeat for Manchester United in Premier League away games, but yet again they kept this unbeaten run intact by doing it the hard way.

longest top-flight away runs without losing

For the 13th time during this 27-game run, United came from behind to rescue at least a point. Overall, since the run began in February 2020, they have picked up 31 points from losing positions in away games, winning nine and drawing four after falling behind to their hosts.

Mason Greenwood was United’s goalscorer in the 1-1 draw at Southampton today, with his strike being his 19th in the Premier League.

With those 19 goals, Greenwood equalled Nicolas Anelka’s Premier League goal tally as a teenager and now only Michael Owen (40), Robbie Fowler (35), Wayne Rooney (30) have scored more in their teenage years in the competition than United’s young star. With Greenwood now just over five weeks away from his 20th birthday, it’s unlikely he’ll climb the rankings for this statistic any further, but there’s adequate time to improve this goal tally nonetheless.

Pogba Chances Created

Paul Pogba assisted Greenwood’s goal, meaning that he’s already got five assists in the Premier League this season. No player has ever assisted as many as five goals in their side’s opening two games of a Premier League season before Pogba did it in the 55th minute of this match. 2020-21 saw Pogba only assist three goals in 1896 minutes of league action, but it must be said that the finishing on his passes has been exceptional – Pogba’s expected assists total is just 0.68 this season, so the five assists he does have could be deemed slightly flattering. Still, at 0.37 xA per 90, 2021-22 is proving to be his most creative season yet and nearly five times as dangerous to opposition teams as last season (0.08 per 90).


Hugo 300

Hugo Lloris made his 300th Premier League appearance in Spurs’ win over Wolves at Molineux Stadium this afternoon, moving him top of their all-time appearance ranking in the competition.

The Frenchman overtook Darren Anderton’s 299 appearances for Tottenham in this match and kept a clean sheet for good measure.

Most PL apps for Spurs

A clean sheet in this match took Lloris’ total to 106 overall in the Premier League – only seven goalkeepers have kept more by their 300th appearance in the competition, with Petr Cech leading the way with 145. The Spurs goalkeeper’s clean sheet total is one more than Manchester United’s David de Gea kept in his first 300 Premier League appearances (105).

Most PL apps for goalkeepers for a single team

In reaching 300, Lloris became just the eighth goalkeeper to hit that milestone for a single club in the competition. He’s still some way off the record held by Jussi Jääskeläinen at Bolton Wanderers (379) but will only have to hang around in north London for another two years to get close to the Finn’s tally.

His performances in recent seasons in particular have been most impressive for Spurs, with Lloris proving himself to be one of the best shot-stoppers in the English top-flight. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Spurs’ number one has prevented 16 goals based on the quality of shots on target that he’s faced (expected goals on target); more than any other goalkeeper in the competition.

Lloris goals prevented


August 21

Expect: Goals

There’s a morose school of thought that suggests that looking at the league table early on in the season is a pointless exercise. Well say that to Brighton and Brentford fans who will wake up on Sunday morning with their clubs in second and fourth place respectively. A lot of people got their first look at 2021-22 Brighton on Saturday evening as they calmly despatched Watford at home to make it two wins out of two. Sounds routine, but remember that last season it took until January 31 before Brighton took three points on their own turf. This is quiet progress, but important nonetheless.

Sometimes last season it seemed that Brighton were less a football club than an art project designed to teach people about expected goals. Creative but wasteful going forwards, tight but unlucky at the back, Brighton should have been dreaming of the Europa League but instead had to spend months fighting a relegation battle. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right, but at least we can now quantify these emotions. Had Albion sacked manager Graham Potter at any point it would have been an unpopular decision both inside and outside the club. But there was no need to, an improvement in results was always in the post. And here we are.

A team who spurned opportunities has become – relatively – clinical and although shot conversion rate is a metric older than quite a few current Premier League players, it tells an important story here. Brighton last season scored with 8.2% of their shots, but in their opening two matches of 2021-22 this has climbed considerably to 14.8%. Historically these numbers are not dissimilar to the improvement/progression that Liverpool showed from the Kenny Dalglish season in 2011-12 through to the Brendan Rodgers-led title charge two years later. That’s not to directly compare the teams – Brighton do not have a finisher anywhere near the level of a 2013 Luis Suarez – but it does demonstrate that becoming more clinical can change the entire energy a football club projects.

xG Sussex

Brighton are not going to finish in the top two this season, and they are not going to finish in the top four either, but a top half finish is well within their grasp. After a year of saying things like “actually if you look at the underlying numbers Brighton should be in eighth place”, maybe we can finally use the league table to judge Graham Potter’s side.


Time Machine

Liverpool are top of the Premier League – for a few hours at least – after a comfortable 2-0 home win against Burnley. It was almost as if the odd, pandemic-hit Premier League of 2020-21 was just a bad dream as Virgil van Dijk commanded his side at the back, allowing full-backs Konstantinos Tsimikas and Trent Alexander-Arnold to attack at will. Just like in the good old days of the late 2010s. Tsimikas assisted Liverpool’s first goal with a cross that was delightfully angled in by Diogo Jota’s head, while Alexander-Arnold, popping up as an inside-right, clipped the ball around the corner to Sadio Mane who rattled, and I must emphasise the word rattled, the ball into the back of the net.

It was Trent’s 34th Premier League assist, which drew him level with such icons as Steve Guppy and Joey Barton, as well as the two slightly more famous names mentioned in the tweet below.

After a tough 2020-21 which saw him assist ‘only’ seven goals, this was the Alexander-Arnold of previous seasons, casually turning in the sort of display that carried Liverpool to the Champions League final for two seasons in succession and then to a league title. During lockdown we heard about some players who, secretly or otherwise, almost preferred the reduction of pressure when playing in front of empty stands. We certainly saw numerous elements of football altered by the pandemic. But equally there are players who thrive in the much-missed hubbub of a real, full, football stadium. Is Trent Alexander-Arnold one of those? It certainly seems like it.

TAA carries vs Burnley

Another Liverpool player who thrives in front of the Anfield crowd is Virgil van Dijk. No Liverpool fan has ever seen van Dijk lose a Premier League game at Anfield in Liverpool colours. It simply hasn’t happened. Today’s game against Burnley was the 48th Premier League home game the Dutchman has played for Liverpool and he is yet to lose. Without him last season, the club ended up losing six in a row there for the first time in their history. Only one man, Manchester United’s Lee Sharpe, has ever played more Premier League home games for a club without suffering defeat. Sharpe was a winger who ended up playing as a full-back. Liverpool, in contrast, have turned their full-backs into winger-level production units. The story is old but it goes on.


VVD Anfield

Prediction Power

We didn’t see a single draw on matchday one of the 2021-22 Premier League season – it couldn’t happen again, could it? Last season’s English top-flight didn’t see a draw until MD3, and even then, there were only two across those three days of Premier League action. Overall, the first 38 games of 2020-21 produced just three draws overall – all of those being score draws.

Premier League Predictions

Week two of this season’s action kicks off with Liverpool hosting Burnley at Anfield. Ashley Barnes’ late penalty sealed a shock win there for the Lancashire side last season, but our match predictor gives Liverpool the second-highest chance of a victory across the entire league this weekend (66%). The only team with a higher chance of victory on MD2 is judged to be Manchester City (87.4%), as they host a newly-promoted Norwich City side that have lost 11 successive matches in the top-flight – not the kindest place to visit when you’re on such a run.

Watford started the season with a great 3-2 home win over Aston Villa last weekend, and of all the matches to be played today, the Hornets are given the best chance of an away win by our match predictor (30.8%). Brighton won just four of their 19 Premier League home games in 2020-21 but did lose the same number of matches at home as Manchester United and Liverpool (6) so the 29.5% chance of a draw given in the predictions might play out.

Can Brentford pick up yet another London derby victory following an impressive win over Arsenal on MD1?  Our match predictions suggest they’ve got a 27.9% chance of doing just that, but Palace will be looking to pick up their first points of the season in what is Patrick Vieira’s first home game as boss in the competition. As a player, the Frenchman only ever lost 15 of his 157 home games in the Premier League (9.6%) – can he transfer that great record across to his managerial career in the English top-flight?


August 20

More Than Just a Club…No, Not That One

When Florentino Pérez warned the world that football would be dead in three years if his Super League project had not gone ahead, he was probably referring to his model, his way to run a club, the same shared by the rest of the “Super Clubs”.

But a different approach to running clubs is indeed possible. One that is founded on the legacy fan rather than solely catering to the new breed of digital fans.

Without the ability to spend millions on new players, it’s a model based on self-sustainability and investment in the youth system.

Enter Athletic Club, commonly known as Athletic Bilbao. Athletic are more than a football team, they’re a philosophy, a way of life. In a football world where globalization is the norm and success is the only acceptable currency, a club comprised only of local talent and who’s last league title (and national cup) was in 1984, struggles to capture much of the limelight.  

The incredible part of the story is that Athletic fans are not that fussed by the lack of trophies. Rather, they deem their tradition of only recruitment Basque players as more important than any cup or silverware. They most important currency in Bilbao is pride.

First of all, Los Leones are one of only three clubs that have never been relegated from the Spanish top flight. At the same time they are one of the most successful teams in Spanish history, third in terms of overall trophies or fourth when filtering by league titles (two fewer than Atlético Madrid but 13 more Copa del Rey trophies).

Their last trophy remains the Spanish Super Cup which they won last January in Seville in injury time against Barcelona.

But it’s the national cup that keeps eluding them. Since 1984, they have lost in six finals, including twice in the same week (the 2019-20 and 2020-21 editions).

Athletic Club: Last 15 Seasons

SeasonWDLPointsFinal Pos.Euro Comp.Copa del ReyCoach
2006-071010184017thNoRound 1Sarriugarte/Mané
2007-081311145011thNoQuarter FinalJoaquín Caparrós
2008-09128184413thNoFinalJoaquín Caparrós
2009-1015914548thUEL (Last 32)Round 1Joaquín Caparrós
2010-1118416586thNoLast 16Joaquín Caparrós
2011-121213134910thUEL (Final)FinalMarcelo Bielsa
2012-13129174512thUEL (Group Stage)Round 1Marcelo Bielsa
2013-1420108704thNoQuarter FinalErnesto Valverde
2014-15151013557thUCL/UEL (Last 32)FinalErnesto Valverde
2015-1618812625thUEL (Quarter Final)Quarter FinalErnesto Valverde
2016-1719613637thUEL (Last 32)Last 16Ernesto Valverde
2017-181013154316thUEL (Last 16)Round 1José Ángel Ziganda
2018-19131411538thNoLast 16Berizzo/Garitano
2019-201312135111thNoFinalGaizka Garitano

Despite the lack of success, the club is famous all around the world for their Basque-only policy. It’s estimated that just over 3m people live in the Basque Country, including both the Spanish and the French regions. And even if the rules of inclusion have recently expanded to include people from non-Basque origin who have grown up there locally or kids living elsewhere but who come from Basque families, we are still talking of a catchment area of fewer than 3.5m people.

When looking at adding players to their squad, the club have two different problems:

  1. The number of players who can be contracted by the club is really small (and a good number of these have already played for Athletic).
  2. As soon as they show an interest in signing a player the price goes up as the other clubs know how desperate they are in landing a Basque player.

Let’s look at the list of their main signings in the transfer market in the last 15 years.

Athletic Club signings since 2006-07

This means the only way to survive is self-sustainment via investment in a youth policy that nurtures the best talent in the local area and in the Basque world internationally. Lezama, Athletic Bilbao’s academy and training centre, is one of the most famous “canteras” – a term used in Spain to refer to youth academies and farm teams organized by sports clubs – in the world. Just looking at the last 15 years again, the club have been able to field players who have come through their ranks each and every season:

SeasonNo. of DebutsManager
2007-084Joaquín Caparrós
2008-096Joaquín Caparrós
2009-104Joaquín Caparrós
2010-115Joaquín Caparrós
2011-121Marcelo Bielsa
2012-134Marcelo Bielsa
2013-144Ernesto Valverde
2014-154Ernesto Valverde
2015-163Ernesto Valverde
2016-173Ernesto Valverde
2017-183José Ángel Ziganda
2019-203Gaizka Garitano

Many of them have featured in the senior team for quite some time as we can see from the list of the ones with 100+ appearances:

Athletic Club Homegrown Talent

A youngster coming through the ranks at Lezama knows if they are good enough, they have a good chance to make it to the top. Not all the good players decide to stay for the whole careers. Most of them end up playing for other clubs, at home and abroad, but the Athletic example shows another model is possible if you put pride and identity before trophies.

-SF (additional research support from Vanessa Marina)