Reputation helps Arsenal sign teenage talent | inside World Soccer

Reputation helps Arsenal sign teenage talent

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger claims the first club to express an interest in signing a young talent has the best chance of securing their signature.

However, the Frenchman believes that Arsenal’s reputation for throwing in youngsters early certainly helps.

Wenger said earlier this month in the club's website, "Most of the time it is (down to) the first contact. The player thinks ‘he wanted me first.' That develops a kind of trust and confidence.

"In Arsenal’s case it is also our history. When we say to a player ‘we believe in you,' we think you are good enough.

"Look at our midfield, the oldest one is 21’ the parents believe us. They know they will get a chance."

Wenger has a long reputation for bringing in talented young players from home and abroad.

The likes of Cesc Fàbregas, Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Johan Djourou, Nicolas Anelka, David Bentley, Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Upson have all been brought in from other clubs at a young age and gone on to represent the first team.

However, Wenger admitted it has become a hugely competitive area in recent years.

"I spoke to a friend of mine who is a coach in Tours in France. They are in the second division but he told me when they play at home they have on average 15 to 20 foreign scouts, clubs from all over Europe, it’s unbelievable.

"If that is in the second division in France then it means the scouts are everywhere.

"There is nowhere where you can be the only one on the ball. You could maybe be the first one on the ball but not the only one."

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