By Rob Kelly
Arsène Wenger believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s emergence shows that England’s next generation of talent is coming through.
Wenger insists it is important that up-and-coming homegrown players get the chance to prove their worth from an early age.
“I believe that for an English player, you have to start to play at 18 at the top level if you want to become an international player,” he said.
“They all played at 18 - Thierry, Ferdinand, Rooney, Gerrard. If you don't make it at 18 you have one or two who come in later but the basis of the national team is players who have come in then.”
Wenger believes the Club’s willingness to give youth a chance sets them out from their rivals when it comes to signing young players.
“Young players want to join us because they know they will get a chance at the top level,” he said. “I believe that when Oxlade-Chamberlain was making his choices, he knew that he would have a chance here.
“I think we have always shown we are willing to take out experienced players and put younger ones in when they deserve it.
“[There were other clubs in for him] but we were consistent for a long time. It could have been a decisive factor. What people forget is that we spent a lot of money on him.”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 28 Jan 2012