Wenger critical of Premier League clubs

Date published: Tuesday 7th November 2017 9:55

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes that every Premier League club is failing to integrate young, English players into their first teams.

Wenger regularly comes in for flak for Arsenal’s struggle to blood English youngsters, although the Frenchman has made strides to correct that this season.

Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have featured regularly in the Europa League, while Eddie Nketiah has starred in the Carabao Cup.

But the youngest English player to play in the Premier League for the club this season is 22-year-old Rob Holding, followed by the since departed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24.

Steve McManaman attracted criticism for claiming that only Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp give English youngsters a chance, and Wenger has insisted that everyone is guilty of overlooking them.

“There is huge English natural talent out there and the best way to prove that and to check that is if you look at the results of the young boys in England youth teams at international level,” he told BT Sport.

“They start to win competitions, they start to exist in every big competition with the youth level. That means the talent is there. Now we go into process No 3, the integration.

 

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“I would say today, many, many, many clubs do well part one and part two – quality of education – there’s a lot work that has been done in England. We all fail in part three, integration into the first team.

“Nobody has found a miraculous solution because the Premier League has become so demanding that the gap between youth and reserve level and the Premier League is so big that all the managers sit there and sweat on the Friday night and finally think – lets be conservative, we’ll see next week.”

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