Arsene Wenger: Top players follow the money

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes these days the best footballers follow the money rather than the name of the club because of the current economy.

In recent years, big money has been spent abroad and more players are seemingly going to countries like Turkey, Russia, China and France rather than the previous common destinations such as England, Spain, Italy and Germany.

The likes of Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Nicholas Anelka all left the highly-rated leagues, but were offered a big contract to do so.

Eto'o, who is currently playing in Russia, earns around £275k-a-week at the moment - and that is causing problems for football according to the Arsenal manager.

Earlier this week England manager Roy Hodgson expressed his concern that there were not enough English players coming up through the ranks at the English clubs - and the fact that they are signing players from abroad is worrying for the national side.

Wenger has offered his sympathy to the England manager, but he believes that the money in the game has seriously affected the big leagues in football.

“I can understand Roy Hodgson because when you go to games and there are no English players you can complain,” he told the Arsenal website. “But you cannot want to be the best league in the world and close the borders. So you have to find a good mixture. I think the good mixture is to produce the players from your own academies, and buy top, top, top class players.

“The trend follows the economic strength. When I was at Monaco, all of the players went to Italy. It was the league you wanted to be in: [Paul] Gascoigne and the best English players went to Italy. Now it is England.

“The price you pay is that you have fewer English players. Maybe Roy is right - a few more would be good. But the trend is changing.

“I have good young English players who play: [Kieran] Gibbs, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Carl] Jenkinson, [Jack] Wilshere, [Theo] Walcott. It is not my fault if [Aaron] Ramsey is Welsh!”


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