By Max Jones
Arsène Wenger believes that South America is ahead of Europe when it comes to producing world-class players.
The Arsenal manager has already signed two Latin American players ahead of this weekend’s Emirates Cup - Alexis Sanchez, who could feature, and David Ospina, who is injured - and Wenger insists the Gunners’ admiration of that continent's talent is not new.
“We had a player on trial last year called [Sebastian] Perez, who was a midfielder,” said Wenger. “We follow closely what’s going on in South America because I believe, in some positions, they are today stronger than European clubs - especially up front.
I like what South American teams did at the World Cup
“If you make a classification of a world-class striker today, that’s in favour of South America. Central defenders as well. I believe that South America is ahead.”
Wenger also described the influence Arsenal’s recent influx of talent has had on the changing room.
“For a long time French was our main speaking language in the team,” Wenger said. “After that it became a bit German, but now we have a strong Spanish colony and it looks dominant at the moment - we have many Spanish-speaking players.”
The Frenchman ended by praising Alexis and Ospina for their contributions to their countries’ performances in Brazil.
"I like what South American teams did at the World Cup,” he said. “Colombia and Chile were very good teams.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 Aug 2014