Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the Gunners have been consciously trying to develop a greater number of young English talent within the club, as they do not leave as readily as foreign players.
The French tactician has been criticised in the past for a lack of home grown talent in his Arsenal sides, but he has now revealed the Emirates Stadium club are actively trying to get more English players in the squad.
Wenger’s reasoning for this is that English players are more likely stay with the club long term than their foreign counterparts, but he maintained that the ultimate decision on a player is down to their talent.
The Arsenal first team squad currently have a number of English stars such as Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and less senior stars in the shape of Emmanuel Frimpong and Nico Yennaris.
And, as Wenger explained, this was no accident.
“It is… not by coincidence, it is down to the work that we have done that we have more good English players," he told the official Arsenal website.
"We look first at quality. If the quality is local, it is of course even better because it gives you more guarantee of stability because the players who are English who play for Arsenal are more likely to stay for a longer term than foreign players.
"But we look first at quality, that is the most important thing."
Wenger’s theory about English stars staying longer than foreign players may be up for some criticism, especially if, at the end of the season, Theo Walcott decides to move on to pastures new.
Ashley Cole is a famous English star that left the Gunners while in his prime and Wenger will be desperate for there to be no repeat of that episode with Walcott.
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