By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is determined to provide more and more players for the English national side.
It’s not that long ago that the Arsenal manager was accused of ‘damaging’ his adopted country by overlooking local talent. All the while, Wenger pointed to the stream of youngsters who emerged from Arsenal’s academy and forged careers at other top-flight clubs.
That trend continues but now some of Arsenal’s homegrown players are breaking into the first-team at Emirates Stadium. Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere have been tipped for international honours while Theo Walcott, another Englishman at Arsenal, is a regular in Fabio Capello’s squads.
Wenger will always put quality before nationality when he picks his team but the Arsenal manager would love to see more young Gunners make their mark with the Three Lions.
“Very soon we could have very many [Arsenal players in the England side],” said the Frenchman.
“We have Walcott, we have Gibbs, we have Wilshere who pushes on. Soon we might have some others. We have of course Aaron Ramsey, but he is British, not for England.
“I am highly determined [to bring more English players through]. First we look for quality, but we have improved our quality on all sides.
“We have produced many English players who have not completely made it at Arsenal. They might have made it somewhere else.
“On the England fringes we had players like [David] Bentley, [Steven] Sidwell and [Matthew] Upson who is now back in the England squad. They are quality players who were here.”Copyright 2013 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 16 Oct 2009