Arsene Wenger admits that Manchester United’s ‘Class of ‘92’ influenced his thinking when he offered long-term contracts to Arsenal's young British players.
Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs all agreed new deals to stay at Emirates Stadium last season.
Wenger says the success of United’s famous group - containing David Beckham, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs - shows what is possible with a close-knit bond.
"It is important for the players to feel part of the club, part of the culture of the club and that the club means something to you"
“Yes, [they were in my mind] of course,” said Wenger. “I believe the sense of belonging is important and it has been neglected a bit in the modern game.
“It is important for the players to feel part of the club, part of the culture of the club and that the club means something to you. That is important to the fans as well.
“I really believe in some difficult periods in a season, in some difficult periods in the career of a player, [it is important that] he really feels he belongs. That can only be built with players growing up together.
“For example, today in the team we have Wojciech Szczesny and for me he is an Arsenal player. Why? Because he grew up here, at 15 years of age he was here, just like Wilshere came at nine years of age. There is something more there - that is what you can build on.
“I would [hope] that this group can become as successful as Manchester United’s players were but we have to show that and we have an opportunity to do it. Nobody can stop you if you have quality and [the right] attitude.”