According to a report from the DailyMail this afternoon, Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town are genuinely considering closing the club’s academy.
Following their promotion from the Championship last season, David Wagner’s Huddersfield have been the surprise package of the Premier League campaign thus far, having picked up 7 points from their opening 3 fixtures, without conceding a single goal.
The club secured a whopping 13 signings over the course of the summer transfer window, with Terriers boss Wagner having been questioned on the surprising number of arrivals, as well as the lack of academy graduates pushing for first-team chances at Kirklees Stadium during a press conference this afternoon.
The German tactician was typically honest in his response, revealing:
‘This is what we have done (buy) in the past. We bought, we went to other academies and to other football clubs to find additions for our squad. I think this only shows how difficult it is for our academy players.’
‘Of course it is a problem for a club of our size to produce Premier League players. It’s a problem for a lot of clubs. It is a problem for us for sure as well.’ (Quotes via Sky Sports)
Questions directed at Wagner regarding the club’s youth academy came as a result of reports emanating throughout the English media earlier today that Huddersfield are putting serious thought into shutting down their academy system.
Of David Wagner’s current senior squad, only midfielder Philip Billing is a product of the club’s youth setup, and the 21-year-old was actually bought from Danish outfit Esbjerg as a 16-year-old in 2013.
As a result of the club’s struggles at youth level, ‘two well-placed sources’ have informed the Daily Mail that Terriers chairman Dean Hoyle has discussed the possibility of closing his club’s academy with a number of Premier League bosses.
Hoyle feels as though the money may be better spent elsewhere, with a number of clubs said to have taken note of Brentford’s approach to their youth system – they closed their academy last year.
Another option would be to downgrade the status of the club’s academy to Category 2.