Arsene Wenger tried very hard to dispose of all the old unwanted stars at Arsenal this summer, although he only managed to get rid of half the amount that he wanted to offload. One player that he did NOT want to sell was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and in today’s press conference he revealed the players that he felt were ready to take The Ox’s place in the squad.
When asked if Oxlade-Chamberlain had made a mistake by leaving Arsenal, Le Prof said: ‘I wouldn’t call it like that.
‘We wish him well, and we wish him all the best and we’re thankful for all he has done here.
‘At the end of the day you make decisions, you choose one or the other one. We had to sell somebody.
‘And I overall believe today we are in a strong financial situation, as always, and we have a good enough squad to complete.
‘And sometimes the fact doesn’t take anything away from the quality of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who I think is a great player.
‘But sometimes it opens the door for some younger players like [Reiss] Nelson or Joe Willock. Players who are in behind that will get an opportunity that they don’t get [otherwise].’
As I have explained before, the ridiculous rise in prices to bring in even mediocre players has made it even more important for clubs to develop their own youngsters, so it is little surprise that Wenger has decided to concentrate on his youth project once again. As Wenger said, that is the way to a ‘strong financial position’….
But is Reiss Nelson or Joe Willock, at just 17 years old, really ready to be brought into the Arsenal first team?