In football people talk about potential and how you cant judge a player yet etc etc.
Got me thinking.
When does that stop being an excuse? When do players lose the excuse of Youth?
Because you have someone like Meslier who is now an established first team player and as such gets critiqued in that manner, if he has a bad game, then he has a bad game, nobody says "ah yes but he is only young". If
But then you can have players who are 23, 24 even 25 and people will go "ah yes but he is only young he may improve".
So when is the cutoff point?
Is it when a player becomes a 1st team regular and has dozens of games under his belt?
Is it when he turns 20 and loses the teenager tag?
Is it when he gets 22/23 and no longer qualifies for things like Young Player Of The Year?
Is it when he has been part of the first team squad for a few seasons like Shacks who is nearing his 4th season as a senior squad member?
You look at players like Mason Greenwood, still a teenager but he gets judged as a senior player if you read the Manure forums.
Same for Phil Foden at Man City and Mason Mount at Chelsea.
They have reached a status where age doesnt seem to be an excuse anymore with club fans.
So maybe its experience related?
Of course some players get in the team on merit young such as the example used in Meslier. However I would still consider him as potential rather than the finished article. Its just his peak could be as one of the world's best against another player who may just be a average Prem player.
How much natural talent/skill does the player have? e.g. Cruyff and Maradona were undeniably world class at a very young age, and hence capable of excelling at senior club and international level very early in their careers.
At which club are they playing? Some clubs and coaches have a history of developing young players e.g. Ajax, whereas others prefer to buy the finished product e.g. PSG
Who is the coach and what are the coach's beliefs or methods? e.g. Surely a player is much more likely to develop under MB than Sam Allardyce
Has the player over achieved at a young age, and had a false dawn? e.g. Jack Clarke
It also depends on the mentality and motivations of the player, as we've seen at Leeds recently. Certain players have developed and excelled e.g. Struijk and Meslier, whereas others don't appear to have significantly progressed, imo, Tryo and Shacks for example.
So lots of mitigating factors that for me would nullify any specific metric on age or experience.
Roberts has a lot to offer the club, starting I'm hoping off the bench and injury cover.. Get rid of Roberts you may as well ditch the entire U23's and forget youth and just buy players