When Mikel Arteta was an Arsenal player under Arsene Wenger, Le Prof was famous for promoting youngsters from the Academy up to the first team, not always successfully I might add.
But Wenger was always trying to create an English Core, which he felt was neccessary to show our foreign imports what it meant to play for a great club like Arsenal, and it seems that Arteta feels exactly the same way about our youngsters and wants more to come through to join the likes Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe.
The Spaniard told SkySports: “I think we have players where generally you can see the feeling they have towards the club,”
“Obviously, having academy players in the team is something extremely important because you know there is something else there apart from, ‘I like to play football, I like to represent a professional football club and earn money here’.
“I think those players are attached to our DNA, to our values. They have been raised here and they appreciate the fact they have been with us for a long, long time.
“That’s something I think the fans sense.
“And, with the other players, they just see that they are giving 100 per cent to the club, and when that is the case, I think they have no option.” Arteta grins. “They have to support these guys.”
We can only agree that having Saka and Smith-Rowe from the Academy is a great boost for the fans as well as the team, and we are still very hopeful on seeing Balogun next season, also Azeez, Hutchinson, Patino and Karl Hein have spent some time training with the first team recently, and many others in various stages of development.
Wouldn’t it be great if they all became first-teamers?
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