Premier League playing time for English players reaches new high

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Chelsea’s Reece James and Manchester City’s Phil Foden are among English players who had more playing opportunities last seasonPlaying time for English players in the Premier League reached its highest point for 11 years last season.

That compares with an the average of 33.8% of minutes since 2010-11.

Last season also saw a new high for the percentage of minutes played by English under-21s at 6.4%, compared to a 4.7% average over the last 11 seasons.

Increased playing time for English players has been cited as a way to improve the national team’s results at tournaments.

Former Football Association chairman Greg Dyke called for more playing time in 2013, when he also set England a target of winning the 2022 World Cup.

Following the new highs last season, England reached their first European Championship final, their first major tournament final in 55 years.

It also coincides with the likes of Manchester City forward Phil Foden, Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka becoming regular starters at their clubs.

Although the figures in the Premier League were an improvement, England still lagged behind Spain (60.6%), France (51.9%) and Germany (40.8%) for overall playing time for national players in the big-five European leagues last season.

Only Italy (35.3%) have a worse percentage but they beat England in the final of Euro 2020.

As for national under-21s, England had a better percentage for playing time last season than Italy (5.4%) and Spain (5.3%). France (12.3%) and Germany (9.5%) offer more chances to younger players from their respective countries.

Speaking last week to BBC Sport, Dyke said: “[Playing time] was the problem we had 10 years ago, and some clubs have done it now, but we still need more English players in Premier League squads.”

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