Press conference

Why youth development is a key part of our DNA

When Reiss Nelson scored against Liverpool on Wednesday night, he became he fifth player aged 20 or under to score in the top flight for us this season.

It is an important stat for a club that is determined to give youth their chance - but why is it such a key part of our identity?

"It’s really important because this is part of our DNA," Mikel Arteta said. "We can produce at home and we know that with the facilities and structures that we have in place, we have players of that calibre and that level.

"There are some things you cannot compare with anyone from the outside because their feelings and their relationships within the club and how much they care, their passion they put in for our team is different and that’s a mixture you don’t get from anyone else."

So how far can the likes of Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, and Eddie Nketiah go in the game?

"I think they have to set the limits," Arteta added. "We want to give them as many opportunities as possible, again with the right environment and the right structure around them, but then it depends on them.

"This is not about doing it for one month, three months or eight months, it’s about doing it for a long time, and you know that the demands of this football club and the level that you have to be to be there, you have to be really consistent and that’s the hardest thing to do."

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