Despite the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger being very stingy when it comes to spending big on bringing established players to the club, there was one thing the Frenchman was always revered for and that was the club’s youth system. Wenger had the reputation not so long ago of being a manager who could spot hidden potential and convert that into world-class talent.
But looking at the situation now, you could argue that Hector Bellerin is perhaps the only successful youth prospect in the past couple of years. While players like Jack Wilshere, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have failed to live up to their potential, there are others like Alex Iwobi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide, on whom it is too early to take a call on.
In comparison with a team like Spurs, it is easy to observe that it is their youth prospects who are leading them towards a title challenge. Players like Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, all of whom are either products of the academy or recruited by the club at a very young age, have played a pivotal role in their team’s success this season, which begs the question as to why Arsenal have failed in this regard.
When it comes to the scouting, it is not just down to Wenger. Personally, I believe that a successful recruitment policy is a balance between choosing the right youth prospects and the right big-money signings, and Spurs have done that perfectly. So apart from just spending big on players in the summer, which needs to be done, the club have to look at fixing the youth system as well.