Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for changes to be made to the system which allows the big clubs to ‘stockpile’ youngsters.
Chelsea had a total of 28 players out on loan on September 1, more than the amount needed for a Premier League playing squad, and so far very few of those players loaned out get the chance to break into the club’s first team.
Thibaut Courtois was the only player prior to this season to break the mould and return from years away on loan to join up with the first-team, but thanks to Antonio Conte, Victor Moses and Nathaniel Chalobah are getting their chance this term.
Arsene Wenger has now moved to criticise the system which allows the bigger clubs to have all of these players out on loan, which no doubt halts the progress that some of these youngsters were making.
“It is one of the big problems in the modern game,” the Frenchman said. “You’ve invested a lot of money into players because we’re paying more and more money.
“Then at the age of 20 you don’t usually get much money for any of the players, so the reflex is to stockpile the players. That’s not right.
“When you look at the number of loans that happen here and there, the whole system has to be thought about again because we have two kinds of solution in there.”
“The first is to continue developing players, the second step is just to make sure your investment is safe – that’s not the right way to think about it but it’s the natural reflex for the clubs,” Wenger added.
“Maybe you could create a possibility for some clubs to own part of a League One club as a feeder club. After that, a limitation on the number of players on your books could work.
“The way a youth team is organised now is that all the best young players go to the richest clubs, which is where they have fewer chances to develop, so you have to make sure the system shares out the best young players equally.
“It’s difficult because the development of the players depends on the concentration of the good players. The more good players you have together, the more chance they have of becoming even better players.”
Could a lower-league feeder club idea work? Or would it make more sense to look at the Spanish system, which has the top side’s reserve sides in the same system (Simply cant qualify for the same division)?