Arsenal coach – Arsene Wenger
on the club’s youth policy:
I would say that our policy in the future of the Club… after a very long, restricted period financially, when we had to be very tight, we have come out of that with good stability in our results. But of course we have a huge ambition to win this league again, that is the target of the season.
“I still believe our policy has to be based on three different levels and we want to continue that with success.
“The first level is, of course, to continue to defend our style of play, our philosophy of play and our values. That can only be done by developing our own players, and the core of our team has to come from the development inside our club.
“That is why we make huge investments again in our youth policy. I believe that has to be the core and the strength of our club. If you go today through our squad, for example we have completed or partially educated Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Chamberlain, Gnabry – all these players who have made their debut in the Premier League with us.
“They know how we want to play, they know how we want to behave and they bring their qualities and these values to the team.
“The second level of the development of our club has to be based on the intelligence of our eye. That means players who are unknown and who can become big players here, through our connections, the quality of our scouting, through the quality of what we have seen in them and how they could develop.
“For example Koscielny has come here, nobody knew him, today he is an international with France. Giroud has come here, not many people knew him and he has now become an international player with France. Many people have come here and through the quality of our coaching and our development have become international players. They can complete the part of the players that develop inside from the youth level to the top level.
“Then, the third part of our development and ambition is to scout and buy recognised world-class players. This season for example we have bought Ozil. You don’t need any scout to buy Ozil. You just need money!
“I am quite happy that we have shown to you that we are not scared to spend money when we think the players have the quality and we have the funds available to do it.
“Nevertheless, I would say our world is quickly changing. Why? Because Europe as a continent is becoming poorer, the rest of the world is becoming richer, especially Asia, for example, and these people invest in football in Europe”.
“That means [with] the competition we face financially today, we have to be really aware of the number of countries who now have big investors coming in from different continents other than Europe. The competition you face on an international level, financially, has become bigger than before.
“Even if you look at the Champions League, before you had four or five clubs who could win it, today you will have 10. I can give you about 10 clubs who at the moment can pretend to win the Champions League because they have the financial resources to do it. They have the budgets to think ‘we can do it’. That has changed in recent years and I believe that the number of clubs who will have huge funds available will be even bigger.”