According to a report by Switzerland’s CIES Football Observatory, Arsenal are currently ninth in the rankings of clubs that have trained the most footballers currently playing for big-five league teams across the globe.
The Gunners, with 22 players fitting the bill, fall well short of top three Barcelona (43), Manchester United (36) and Real Madrid (34) and are also behind French trio Lyon (33), Paris Saint Germain (27), Rennes (24) and Spanish pair Athletic Bilbao (24) and Real Sociedad (24).
Out of the 22 big-five league footballers trained at Arsenal, 7 remain on the books at the Emirates. To be considered club-trained, a player must have played for at least three seasons between the ages of 15 and 21 for his employer club.
The report also reveals that Barcelona are top of the table of clubs that have trained the most footballers playing for other big-five league teams (30), again ahead of Real Madrid and Manchester United.
In recent months the Arsenal hierarchy have emphasised the long-term importance of improving the club’s Academy putting their money where their mouth is with a number of personnel changes, including the hiring of new director Andries Jonker, and the upgrading of facilities at both Hale End and London Colney.
Last month Jonker outlined his vision in Dutch publication Voetbal International in the process tearing to shreds the lack of progress made in recent years.
“Arsenal want more talented players to come through, because that has been lacking. They want me to develop the players from the academy much better than it was done before.
“At this moment, considering the investments the club have made, players have hardly been developed properly. This is why they wanted me, a man who can guide the coaches and who can influence the other coaches.
“Ivan Gazidis wants Arsenal to be the best academy in the world. He realises that will cost money and will take time, but that is his ambition.”