By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger says it's no coincidence that a core of English players have emerged at Arsenal.
There are now five England internationals in the Frenchman's squad after Carl Jenkinson made his debut for the Three Lions in Sweden earlier this month. Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs have also been capped.
With the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and Nico Yennaris also coming through the ranks at Emirates Stadium, Wenger has a wealth of homegrown talent at his disposal. He is not surprised.
"It is… not by coincidence, it is down to the work that we have done that we have more good English players," said Wenger.
"We look first at quality. If the quality is local, it is of course even better because it gives you more guarantee of stability because the players who are English who play for Arsenal are more likely to stay for a longer term than foreign players.
"But we look first at quality, that is the most important thing."
Wilshere is at the vanguard of a new generation of English talent and Wenger hopes he will commit his long-term future to Arsenal.
"He has always been very committed to this club and I hope he will show that," said the manager. "There is only one way to show it and that is to commit your long-term future to the Club.
"He has two-and-a-half years left - that’s quite a long time. We have built a team [where] we have a lot of young English players, or British players, like Gibbs, Chamberlain, Wilshere. We still have the case of Walcott, Aaron Ramsey. You want them all on long-term contracts."
- Join the conversation on Twitter: #EFCvAFC