As the winter transfer window approaches with Arsenal playing today to leapfrog Liverpool into the Top Four where we belong, Arsene Wenger has already confirmed “90%” that he will not be bringing in new players to improve the squad.
He maintains that he intends to stick to his “philosophy” of promoting youngsters that have come through our youth system and taught to play “the Arsenal Way”. Wenger told Arsenal.com: “On Saturday, we played with four players who have been educated here: Iwobi, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles and Bellerin,”
“So, you look at the other teams who played at the top and you tell me who has played with four players who have been educated in their academy? We do that every time we can but overall I believe it remains the basis of our philosophy.
“I agree with you it doesn’t always come off as we would like but we still are one of the teams who, if you look at the last 20 years, puts more players out than anybody else.”
Other than Maitland-Niles, who looks like he is already being integrated into the Gunners first team, Wenger also gave some game-time against West Ham on Tuesday to Joe Willock (who started in central midfield), with Reiss Nelson, Ben Sheaf and Josh Dasilva who came off the bench. We also saw Eddie Nketiah in the previous round of the League Cup, come on and score twice against Norwich, so it looks like Le Prof is really trying to fast track more youngsters into the side.
This philosophy looks even more sensible in the modern age when the TV money has inflated transfer fees massively, and even ordinary players can cost absolute fortunes to bring to the club. Isn’t it better to promote our own youngsters, who will cost practically nothing comparatively and will not need any time to settle in, than it is to pay other clubs for their own produce?
Maybe Wenger’s philosophy is looking like the right approach right now?