Arsenal need to start targeting English talent this summer

We Need More English Players

Nowadays, there is an explosion of English talent, thanks to all the EPL money that has flowed into the academies and youth coaching. Almost every single team boast of some talented young lad with a fair chance of playing for England. Arsenal are not excluded. We have Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe, with others like Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock on the fringes. Despite that, Arsenal still have an homegrown player problem and should be looking into riding on the new exciting wave of local stars everywhere.

It appears that every country in Europe has its own development cycles. It was Spain and then Germany, then it was Belgium and France and now Portugal and England. We enjoyed the Spanish cycle with the likes of Cazorla, Bellerin, Monreal, Arteta and others contributing significantly to the club. Then we tried, and mostly failed, to get on the German wave with the likes of Mertesacker, Mustafi and Ozil. We completely missed the Belgian cycle as other English clubs enjoyed Lukaku, De Bruyne, Dembele, Courtois, Fellaini, Hazard, Vertonghen, Alderwield etc. Arsene Wenger tried to stir his first love in France but could only get Lacazette out of the country. We are also missing out on the Portuguese cycle: apart from Chelsea, every other top 6 clubs have used a Portuguese this season. And now the English wave has arrived, ready to break through.

Many of these English talents are still at clubs where Arsenal still has a considerable pull over. Leicester, Wolves, Everton, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leeds, West Brom. This is not including any top 6 clubs we may do business with. The positions we are likely to seek to improve are ST, AM, CB, RB. Substitutes are also needed for CM, LB and GK.

At ST, we can still pull in Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Everton, Ollie Watkins from Aston Villa or Danny Ings from Southampton. At AM, we can go all out and big for James Maddison from Leicester, Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, or maybe a less expensive Eberechi Eze from Crystal Palace. At CB, there’s Eric Konsa at Aston Villa, Lewis Dunk at Leeds or Tim Godfrey from Everton. None of them should be particularly expensive. At RB, the options are infinity. James Justin can be got for a fair price from Leiceister or Tariq Lamptey from Brighton. They are two of the very best RB prospects out there now.

A moderate summer window, depending on how well we sell, of Watkins, Eze, Dunk and Justin is attainable. Each of these players are remarkably proven at a young age and would likely increase their market value in a short period with us. With Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and hopefully one of Willock/Nketiah/Nelson/Ainsley would ensure that half of the squad is young, talented, reliable and developing: a real super English core.

This is not some fantasy. We need new players in different positions and there are simply too many suitable homegrown talents within our pull. This is England’s new talent development cycle and we should ride the train as hard as we can. Arsene Wenger chose the wrong time to depend on an English core. Now is the right time to achieve his dream.

This current crop of English talent is absolutely fantastic.

Agboola Israel

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Tags Bukayo Saka Nketiah Smith-Rowe


  1. Highly talented English players are very expensive and I don’t think Arsenal would have enough budget for them in the summer, if they don’t qualify for a European competition next season. As what Wenger predicted, there will be more loans/ Bosman transfers and Arsenal would most likely use one of these methods to get homegrown players from other clubs

    So we could forget about the likes of Grealish, Watkins, Maddison, Calvert-Lewin, Zaha and Ings, because their price tags are very high. We might be able to get the ones with expiring contracts though, such as Tyrick Mitchell from Palace

    We have seen how skillful Saka is, as compared to Pepe. Therefore Arsenal should’ve focused on developing their own hot prospects, such as Nikolaj Moller

  2. I believe English talent is what is called an oxymoron … in any event we need quality all over the field .. begining at the top

    1. RW1, Not an oxymoron at all! Unless you believe there is not talent among English playrs and that would be a great mistake. The article correctly points out just some of the wealth of English talent out here. Affording them however is another entirely different matter.

      1. A bit tongue in cheek John … but you have to look hard and pay way over the odds … then again we are good at that!!

  3. Let’s not forget that we have around 12 homegrown players currently out on loan, some are doing very well.

    I have high hopes for Harry Clarke, Dan Ballard, Mark McGuiness, Tyreece John-Jules, Matt Smith and James Olayinka. Also remember that Guendozi and Saliba will be classed as homegrown when or if they return. Osei-Tutu is another classed as homegrown, whilst Lopez will be homegrown when he reaches 21 too.

  4. Agboola It’s nice to see someone else agrees with me Buy English why do we keep going abroad Thomas Party is injured AGAIN. What is going on with the Arsenal how come our players keep getting injured all the time

    1. As you say thats on Arsenal not the player,we create injuries through our training methods its quite clear.

  5. Such a ridiculous article…we have enough troubles identifying talent as it is, let alone making it more difficult by simply targeting one specific group of individuals…just find talent and if that happens to be English then so be it

    1. should have said a ridiculous notion, not article, as I can understand why this thought-process might exist

  6. Im not sure we have the right manager to nurture our talent that we already have at this club. If i was a promising young footballer, i think i would be wary of coming to Arsenal.

  7. Marinelli, Saka, Nelson, Willock, Niles, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah and even Balogun to some extent are youngsters who came through the Arsenal academy. Hasn’t our manager given them a chance or chances to show their worth?
    I think Arsenal, with maybe Dortmund n say Leicester are the few elite clubs in Europe capable of attracting young players with promise of game time n chances given.

    1. Correction, I know we bought Martinelli, but we didn’t buy him as a finished product but merely as a future prospect. That’s why he is also in the list.

      1. Not really…Martinelli has struggled to get minutes since returning(duly noted by an earlier article), Saka = yes, Nelson = glaring lack of chances since Willian arrived and Pepe playing in the same position, Willock & Niles = not much playing time to speak of, or in the wrong position, which is why both are out on loans, ESR = simply by happenchance, due to injuries, but certainly not planned, Eddie = very little this year, which is fine by me and Balo = less than a full game’s worth of minutes and none in the League…so not sure you have it all figured out…being on the team sheet means very little in comparison to getting actually playing minutes…we’re no where near the likes of Dortmund or Ajax when it comes to this regards

  8. It’s all about balance, really isn’t it? A good scouting system would look around, advise and those above would then decide on getting the best value for the bucks. Dyche does it amazingly well,as does Rodgers. At Arsenal we obviously haven’t. Too many deals appear to be based on dodgy relationships with agents bringing in players who fail to produce and are often detested by us fans because they are not where we want the club. to be. I think this is the perfect time to invest in British players, because their is a good crop of youngsters who look like much better value than the used by, ready made that lazy people like Edu have a preference for.

  9. Remember “ the English core” developed by Wenger bringing us where we are today?(bottom of the table).No thanks,stick with foreign players.

  10. Nationality had nothing to do with it. Apart from the min. home grown players.
    We need talent not passports, and as pointed out by antonioro, we have already had one major failure with “English core”.

  11. “where Arsenal still has a considerable pull over. Leicester, Wolves, Everton, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leeds, West Brom”

    You sure mate?

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