Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes Arsenal and Southampton’s emphasis on youth development marks them out from many of their competitors.
The 20-year-old is a graduate of the Saints academy system that has also produced the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and James Ward-Prowse.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will return to St. Mary’s on Tuesday night with Arsène Wenger’s side, and he says his former club have a lot to be proud of.
It is similar to what I see at Arsenal, because for such a big club, the manager here really does help the young boys outAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain
“It just seems like Southampton have the knack of creating really good players,” he told Arsenal Player. “The facilities are second to none and straight away that gives an opportunity to the young players in the area.
“The coaching there is really good as well. They teach the boys to express themselves from an early age and you really take that through until the later stage of your career when you learn the tactical side and how to play properly. If you create that flair and love for the game when you are young, it really does help when you get older.
“I am not sure what it is but Southampton really do give young boys opportunities to train and play with the first team and that is massive.
“To give a young boy an opportunity is sometimes difficult for managers to do when they need results so badly but Southampton have always managed to do that - and they have paid them back.
“It is similar to what I see at Arsenal, because for such a big club, the manager here really does help the young boys out and gives them a good chance to be the best player they can be.”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 28 Jan 2014