Arsenal scouting lower leagues for hungry players


Having spoken about how the money in football is affecting the hunger of young players at the top clubs, Arsene Wenger believes that scouting the lower leagues to find footballers who have a deep-seated desire is going to play a part at Arsenal in the coming years.

Teenage millionaires sometimes find their motivation is dampened by the fact they drive  fast cars and all the assorted trappings, whereas a player who has had to work his up from the bottom may be the one who shows the most desire.

“What I think will happen is that you will have more and more players coming out of the lower leagues who have had to fight their way through,” he said.

“Compare that with a player who has been educated here, who has had Champions League for 17 years, who has not known anything else.

“It’s not a dream, it’s normal for him. But if you play for a team in the lower leagues and watch Real Madrid or Barcelona on Wednesday nights you think: ‘I’d love to play in games like that.’

“I’ve said to our scouts to do the lower leagues because the good players are there now. Don’t forget we have many foreign players in the Premier League, but good English players have to go down to develop.”

Wenger spoke last season about how the Leicester players, some of them cast-offs and rejects from bigger clubs, and others like Jamie Vardy who came through late, could maintain their drive throughout the season.

And perhaps part of this has been put into practice already with the signing of 20 year old Rob Holding from Bolton this summer. Before that the last player signed from a lower division club was Carl Jenkinson from Charlton.

The club had to offer his father, a well-known singer, a gig at the Arsenal Charity Ball at the end of that season before the deal was agreed.


  1. Certainly can find some gems in the lower leagues, but I’d like to also see him spend more time scouring the top leagues for players that can help us now.

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  2. I absolutely love this approach, but it’s more of a tomorrow approach when I want to sort out todays problems

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    • Once upon a time he was falling in love but now it seems he’s only falling apart, there’s simply nothing you can say.

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  3. We’re a huge club so why does Wenger keep making us sound like we’re not.
    He really is obsessed with money now.
    Ocd levalls.
    Yet he does not mind keeping highly paid injury prone players on at the club year after year.
    Wasting millions.

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    • A club isn’t huge because its fans say so.

      You’re a huge club when everybody wants to play for you. Sadly that isn’t us. Its Barca, Real Madrid, and (sort of) Manchester United, maybe Bayern Munich, Juventus, and PSG too, though their attraction is probably more to players in their own countries than to all players.

      Our biggest attraction to footballers is Wenger, not Arsenal.

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      • Forgot Liverpool. Their European history is a big attraction even now (but slowly fading with each year).

        I suspect that the way a lot of top players outside England see is that “Wenger is a great coach so I would consider Arsenal. I would improve their team, but I might not be enough to make them winners on my own, so I won’t take the chance. …if only they had two or three more top players …sigh”.

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      • Lawl. Players don’t want to play for Manchester united. They just want the massive pay cheques they offer. Their fans can lie to themselves all they want.

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  4. Vardy took 4 years to hit form at Leicester which we couldn’t put up with at AFC.
    But yes we could look for ‘future’ talent in the lower leagues.

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  5. Bet even if we found one, they wouldn’t pay what Scrappington Dusty FC want and we’d still rely on “internal solutions”.

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  6. I also read somewhere that Wenger likes to scour online comments for managerial advice because even armchair fans are hungry for success.

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  7. Amazing how we have the highest amount of money in the bank in years and we have suddenly started to talk like Wigan Athletic.

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    • But Wigan don’t have to provide collateral for the LA Rams do they ? ‘We’ – in the loosest sense – do.

      Given Arsenal’s ‘scouting system’ isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders now or any time recently, I couldn’t care less where we find the right players. Just find them. But to come up with this Socratic insight, 6 days before the seasons opener is….how shall I put it ?……too little, too late.

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      • His scouting system won’t find any players that everybody else’s scouting system won’t also find.

        His ability to sign players depends partially on his reputation (which is good), partially on the massive amounts of money Arsenal has (which ALL PL teams now have, more or less), partially on Arsenal’s record of consistently making the CL (though everybody knows we rarely make it to the semi’s), and mostly on the player’s preferences (and there are a whole lot of clubs who feature higher than Arsenal when it comes to players choosing where they want to play).

        If they don’t want to come to Arsenal it doesn’t really matter how much money we try to throw at them. Lots of top clubs can pay them silly money. The players have the power in the market. In the end they will go to the club they want to go to.

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        • Unless we’re definitely a step up from where thay are already.

          Yes, it means most of the players who would want to come to Arsenal are either unloved where they are, or we have never heard of them because they’re in the lower leagues that Gooners are too proud to take notice of unless we ahve to play one of those strange little teams.

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  8. Yes there are good players to be found in the lower leagues however if we keep cutting it fine that is not buying players of good pedigree then we will pay the price not winning the league and not getting the normal champions league spot so as,an arsenal supporter since,the days of liam Brady I am pessimistic about the immediate future.seàn

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  9. I do value this approach, but now is not the time to be taking it. And especially not the time to be communicating this with the fans.
    Why do Wenger/Gazidis and other board members get drawn into so much transfer discussion? It’s crazy. It only riles the fans. I understand they probably get asked millions of questions, but surely they can just not answer them.
    All these younger players from lower leagues, if we do buy them, should be playing/training alongside top quality, mature players.
    That is what we are missing; because that calibre of player command the top fees and it’s clear that Arsene/the board/whoever are not prepared to pay them on a regular basis.

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  10. Its sad, he is just sad(Wenger) He will always have the same old explanations on how to spend money. Its always to scout and plan for the future. The future was 10 years ago. And still what??? We have a great team, when everyone is fit and available. Yes we could, but we never will, we dont have that extra bit of class, that extra big name players. If Wenger for once, just once in his Arsenal reign spend big, fill in the gaps with your 5 star players right now and we still end up not winning anything i will shut up and never say anything again. But it’s always next year and too many injuries and same old story different year.

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      • It sounds just like when Spuds had Lineker/Gasgoine/Sheringham/Waddle and were one or two off doing the business. Cunts lol x

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      • Because he always buys midfielders, even though we needed a proper new Striker since the Dutch cunt left.
        As much as I think xhaka is a really good Player, i’m not sure, if we really needed a high-profile addition to midfield with coq, elneny, santi, wilshere and ramsey all being really decent players for those two positions.
        At least I wouldn’t have made it our priority signing, which we wanted to sort out first

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        • Yes, the reason being that he can’t find any more top players who actually WANT to play for Arsenal.

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  11. How about Wenger retires as Manager at the end of the season and he dedicates his work to scouting the lower leagues for talent.

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    • If Wenger leaves us (as coach) what do we have to attract top players that 20 or more other clubs don’t also have?

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  12. Some gifted players who developped their game in the street or lower leagues also put their attention on fancy cars and become lazy.

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  13. *Try to be positive* *Try to be positive* Fuck positive we’re completely broken inside 😥 This guy is just testing our patience year after year. Really had enough. Can’t believe Wenger’s era is about to end this way. What a shame

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  14. Just got in from Wealdstone v St Albans NLC. Nobody in either team worth signing Arsene just in case you were thinking of stooping to that level.

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  15. I am honestly uneasy with this “copy Leicestrr approach” coming from Arsene and Gazidis.
    Apart from the obvious fact that we have the largest cash reserves in the league, the Leicester league win was an anomaly. Everything fell into place for them and its unlikely to happen again.
    They are conveniently forgetting that every other team in the past 20 years that won the league actually did buy quality players and spent some funds doing so.

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  16. would be a good idea to dissect Mr. Wenger’s brain to really know what’s going on inside…

    would they know how (badly) they affect our hearts?

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  17. Anyone notice the irony in this?

    He’s basically saying Arsenal need to scout in the lower English leagues because there is talent there who have the hunger to succeed because they weren’t given the chance and have something to prove after they’ve been overlooked in their original clubs due to the money and this greater influx of international players.

    Anyone know of a young English striker who’s broken into the PL after rapidly climbing through the lower leagues because they had a hunger to prove himself and is still young to be considered a future talent and would make a decent squad option for Arsenal?

    What’s his name? Afobe? Isn’t that the kid we sold without a buyback clause because we needed to make space for Sanogo? Climbed from League 1 to PL in 18 months, one of the highest English goal scorers and has also started well for Bournemouth this preseason, all at the age of 23?

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    • Dude is 6 foot and well built.
      He’s definitely physically more capable than Theo.

      Very well-rounded striker. Still annoys me that we let him go all because of facking Sanogo.

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  18. It’s a very good approach. The Jamie Vardys and Rickie Lamberts reached epl a bit too late, they need to be found earlier. Lower league players are perhaps more street smart than academy kids who are pampered.

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  19. Manchester City have just bought John Stones… That means their spend this summer has almost reached 200m and they barely broke a sweat…

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  20. Not the fans saying it.
    Psg a huge club ?
    We’re so lucky to have arsen otherwise no one would want to play for arsenal lol.
    Lucky Dennis never thought that.
    We were just as successful under Graham with league titles,fa cups,league cups,also europeon glory.
    We’ve been ok before and will be ok after.
    Arsenal fc not arsen fc…..

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