Arsene Wenger has history of stealing talented youngsters from under the nose of Barcelona and bringing them through the Arsenal Academy to become top class professionals. The first names that come to mind are Hector Bellerin, Jon Toral and Cesc Fabregas, but they all moved to Arsenal because of the reputation that Wenger has for bringing through youngsters into the first team.
But Marcus McGuane had been at Arsenal since he was six years old and had captained the Under 18’s and played for the U23’s a few times as well. And I’m not splitting hairs here, but he is considered to be a very talented Defensive Midfielder, which we are obviously well stocked up on but he left because he didn’t expect Wenger to give him any game time.
He said yesterday, after making his Barcelona debut against Espanyol: ‘I was getting frustrated by a lack of opportunities,’
‘It is good to train but I did not want my performance to plateau and stay at the same level. This step made sense.
‘I didn’t have any conversations with him [Wenger]. ‘I thought if I kept working hard, I would get opportunities. It didn’t come.
‘There’s no grudge but I felt the best thing was to find another way.
‘If you want to be at a place to develop and get first-team football, maybe you have to look elsewhere than Arsenal.’
So what happened to Wenger’s pòlicy of bringing through talented youngsters from the Academy into the Arsenal first team? It is a very sad state of affairs that an 18 year-old moves to a massive club like Barcelona and expect to get more chances than he would at Arsenal. Oh my, how things have changed. And not neccesarily for the better!