Wenger: Saints lead the way in youth development

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Arsene Wenger says Southampton have led the way in youth development over the last 15 years and have also proved to be very adept at scouting new talent.

Despite dropping out of the top tier of English football 11 years ago, and subsequently falling as low as League One, the Saints have consistently produced high-profile academy graduates including Gareth Bale and three members of Arsenal’s current first team squad.

Speaking ahead of this evening’s EFL Cup quarter-final with the Saints, the boss reflected on the South Coast outfit’s positive contribution to English football.

“They have certainly been the most prolific producers of top talent in England in the last 15 years,” he told Arsenal.com. “They have not only produced talent, but top talents.”

“We have some examples at our club with [Theo] Walcott, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain and [Calum] Chambers, but don’t forget they’ve also produced top quality players like Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana and of course others.

“They do not only produce quality players, they scout very well as well because they scouted players like Sadio Mane.”

He added: “You see the likes of [Jose] Fonte and Cedric [Soares] are European champions now with Portugal, so Southampton have done extremely well with their scouting.”

We’ve no idea if it’s some kind of record, but former Southampton players scored five of the seven goals in Arsenal’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day of the season…so we actually won 3-2 if you don’t count Coutinho’s goals.
Other talents born and raised in Southampton include Craig David, Benny Hill and Charlie Dimmock. Only one of them has ever scored for Arsenal.

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9 Comments on "Wenger: Saints lead the way in youth development"

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Goongot

My alias team on fifa 13 onwards has always been southampton… Good players and great offers from other clubs

Tidge

Despite all their talent coming through, they are frustratingly consistent. If they held onto their players they would be one heck of a team.

Serpent

…and a club in greater economical distress, I reckon. Being around 6th-8th place in the league is good enough. They might get European football, but could be just as well off without it.

Roger Ramjet

Benny Hill was from Eastleigh, Near Southampton. There’s a road named after him which I live about 20 mins from. They’re in FA Cup 2nd round action this weekend. Will hopefully draw us in the 3rd.

Jonas

Benny Hill!

ClockEndRider

I’ll never forget the time when Benny Hill, the footballing milkman, cut in from the right on that famous left peg, left his defender for dead and hammered it into the top left at the ClockEnd. I believe it is for his famous speed off the wing that he was named “the fastest milkman in the west”. Can anybody confirm?

Papas

Charlie Dimmock scored for Arsenal? Do you have a picture of that by any chance?

PoznanIMP

Hope it was Benny Hill who scored. Can picture what that celebration would look like.

Off to google it on the youtube. Here’s hoping.

santori

Can’t argue with that. Saint’s academy has been impressive.

The Ox, Walcott and Chambers.

Chambers was excellent for them at Rback which should be his position in our team.

If/Should we lose to Soton and go out, so be it. We need to focus on the other competitions frankly.

But lets give it a good go (only not at detriment to main players for the weekend)

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