Monday, July 15, 2024

Wenger standing by youth policy (inc. squad age stats)

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will continue to freshen up their squad with youthful prospects, claiming the policy is now part of the club’s DNA.

Stressing that the Gunners’ burgeoning financial muscle won’t see them abandon the use of Academy prospects or the signing or promising prospects the boss pointed to this season’s successful integration of 20-year-old duo Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin.

“You want to do both,” said Wenger on the subject of balancing big money acquisitions with young blood.

“Yes of course it is possible. We signed players like Sanchez and Ozil, 25 and 26, and that is a good age to perform now.

“We have as well players like Bellerin and Chambers who are 20. So we have both. The financial potential should allow you to combine both.

“Look, what’s important is that we give a chance to the young players. We want to maintain that.

“For years you could say to me: “you have no choice you have to play them” – but we want to maintain that. It’s part of the DNA of the club to give a chance to young players.

“When all your main players get close to 30, you can’t buy a 30 year old player. You have to buy a player who is 22 or 23, because if you buy another player of 30 they all [finish their careers] together.”

In light of the above comments we’ve put together the following table detailing the ages of all those in the current first team squad. It looks pretty balanced at the moment…

Arsenal first team squad by age (correct as of 10 April 2015)

Arsenal Ages02

  • 30+ at the moment – 5
  • 30+ at the start of next season – 6
  • 25-29 at the moment – 10
  • 25-29 at the start of next season – 10
  • 20-24 at the moment – 15
  • 20 – 24 at the start of next season – 15
  • under 20 – 4
  • under 20 at the start of next season – 3

Other observations

  • The oldest player (Tomas Rosicky, 34) is 17 years and 3 months oldest than the youngest (Krystian Bielik, 17) – twice his age!
  • Theo Walcott has made the most appearances, 294, of the current squad. Only 3 other players (Flamini, Rosicky and Ramsey) have made more than 200 appearances for the club.
  • Two players, Zelalem and Bielik, weren’t even born when Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal on 30 September 1996.
  • Danny Welbeck and Gabriel were born on exactly the same day.
  • No Arsenal player has ever witnessed Sp*rs win the league. In fact Tomas Rosicky was born 19 years after their last league triumph.

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Love it , quality coming both from the bottom and from new signings.

Financial pressures off, full steam ahead.


Quality coming from the bottom – like the time I ate all that glitter.

Andy Mack

You were young and he was a famous pop star…..
How is Mr Gadd now?

Paul S

He’s playing in gaol.


3 of the best comments I’ve seen on here


A filthy hat-trick


How many us have seen Spurs in the league? I was born in the 60s and haven’t.

I have seen the league won twice at WHL (by us), does that count?


*win the league

Gutbukket Deffrolla

I was alive when they last won it. I was too young too speak so couldn’t properly express my disgust at seeing that happen. My mum did notice a sudden increase in nappy-cleaning though. She understood the pain I was going through.


Loving the quality of articles lately… Very research heavy.

Great stuff.

odds and even

wonder how 7am kickoff would feel about this 😉


Yup, Szcz is older than Welbeck. I still see him as a kid.

Anonymous Physicist

This sounds suspiciously like Wenger trying to wind up City. Especially the “they all finish their career together” part… I’m really interested to see what we’ll do in terms of transfers this summer. With no obvious holes in the squad anymore, it’ll just be about minor improvements, and I don’t think we’ve seen that for a long time. Maybe a similarly quiet summer to 2003, when we signed just the one first team player and a couple of young prospects? (Cue thumbs down from all the FIFA managers who think we definitely need Cech, Pogba, Reus and Dybala this summer,… Read more »


I think we’ll try to get a young player and maybe bring in one or two from the youth team. The team is fine when they play like this. It’s a healthy environment for young players to show what they can do, and, as you said, there are no obvious holes in the team to fill.


The only position that i see taht needs strenghtening is DM. Our Coq is impressive but can’t play every game so maybe cover there but anything else will be a bonus to depth.

Anonymous Physicist

This is a tricky one for me though. I agree that we could use another quality DM to rotate/compete with Coquelin, but whenever I think that scenario through I come to the conclusion that Arteta should leave in that case, and I don’t want that. My thinking is that you can’t rotate three players for one position, and I don’t want Arteta to play in CM ahead of Cazorla, Ramsey or Wilshere either, as Cazorla is currently great as a deeper lying midfielder and Ramsey and Wilshere are important to our future and need a solid amount of playing time.… Read more »

sg gooner

Arteta should stay for one more year for his dressing room presence. The ideal scenario is to buy a dm to rotate with coq.

But knowing wenger, he will give a chance to chamber and the new 18yo dm (couldn’t rmb his name suddenly) a chance in the first half of season.


I think it’s more likely that Hayden will get his shot next season than Bielik. Thought he was our best player while playing at cb against Southampton in the league cup, though admittedly that’s not saying much. Looked composed, strong in the tackle, good on the ball, confident. Be a bit of a gamble, guess it depends how ready Wenger thinks he is. Can’t help but feel if it weren’t for injuries he’d have played more of a part this year. Saying that, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to getting someone in as long as they were good enough. Flamini… Read more »


I love to see the mental turmoil this is causing you. And I agree completely, if Arsene buys anyone for the DM role, then it’s bye bye to Arteta. And I don’t see that happening, nor do I think it should happen.

I could see us only buying one first team player this year. If Walcott is sold because he’s faffing with a new contract, Reus is a prospect, but I would think we’d be more likely to choose someone a bit less well known.

Anonymous Physicist

I wrote a long reply to this saying that while I agree in principle, I fear that if we don’t trust Arteta as our second choice DM anymore we have no real role for him in the squad, what with all the options we have further upfield. I want to keep him around becasue he’s been great for us the last few years and because of his experience and leadership qualities, but I don’t want him to just be a 6th choice midfielder getting in the way of giving Rosicky and some of the youngsters some playing. Anyway, if anyone… Read more »


We need a stunt Coq


I wouldn’t say no to Petr Cech coming in to the squad if Woj leaves. Imagine the expertise he’d bring.


The winner of the Golden Gloves last season who has spent time on the bench this season (Szcz, who will improve)

OR the winner of the Golden Gloves last season who has spent a lot of time on the bench this season (Cech, probably at his peak).

Tricky choice (though I gather Chelsea won’t sell Cech to us).


I was under the assumption he’d be out of contract in the summer, but you’re right there. As for Szcz improving I’m sure he’ll get better with age as most keepers do, but I’m uncertain his temperament will take being benched for Ospina favourably – I distinctly remember his “Arsene seems to have forgotten he has a player called Szczsney” comment a few years back. As a replacement I can’t see much wrong with Cech. He’s a consummate pro, played in the finals of major tournaments and won, and if he joined he’d be one of two PL winners in… Read more »

Andy Mack

According to transfermarkt Cech has a contract to summer 2016.


When I play FIFA 15 I never know who to buy in my second season because there really arn’t any obvious holes in the squad. Therefore, by the laws of the internet, the same must be true in real life.


Forgive me But i don’t see the quality cover for Giroud..Welbeck doesn’t count(IMHO)….and The Manager wont let Walcot play as an out and out striker so…
Its nice to see that Theo has the highest number of appearances of the current squad..does that mean its time for him to move? would like him to go to Spain or the Bundesliga 🙂 i believe it would make him better tactically

Anonymous Physicist

I think we can give Welbeck another season to try to count. He hasn’t really convinced as centre forward so far, but he hasn’t been terrible either, and he does have all the attributes. He also scores about a goal per game for England, so it’s not as if he doesn’t know where the back of the net is at all.

Unbeaten Manager six seasons in a row on FIFA

Actually, we definitely need Cech, Pogba, Reus and Dybala this summer, despite the fact that we finally have a complete squad with quality cover in all positions.


I really loved the last fact.


*No* Arsenal player should *ever* have to witness Spurs winning the league.


… Dennis willing and NEVER WILL !!! 🙂


Monreal’s missing.. 🙂

Gutbukket Deffrolla

No he’s not. He’s 29.

positive man

If gabriel and Welbz dont become best friends like Szcz and Fabianski, they’ll miss out. On what, i couldnt tell you

bergkamp's hooped sock

Don’t think Szcz and Fabianski were reallu really friends. Szcz once called Fab the best number two keeper in the league. Compliment or faint praise?


Naughty Mr. Blogs! You could’t help taking a swipe at our good neighbors Sp*rs! They are discovering (at a heavy financial cost) what we discovered many moons ago.

Tshaka the gooner

The only statistic that matters on that a article is the Spurs one

Victor Kimuyu

its all sunshine ahead. Maureen wont last 2 more seasons at chelski. Specialist in chickening out when his spendthrift tendency counts for nothing. United to resurrect. Sp*rs to crumble further.

Red Cannon

You mean ManU to go the way of Liverpool & to crumble into mid-table mediocrity or hopefully the way of Leeds & to completely disappear from relevance.


Now this is the real DNA we’re talking about. Not some bullshit spanish telenovela club DNA.


has nacho monreal been sold?? i can’t see his name, and theo walcott seems to retain his squad number on that ranking

ZA Gunner

It really puts stats like Giggs’s 963 games for Man U into perspective. Insane.

Ted E.

We need a 500 game player. I’d guess it’s be Ramsey rather than Walcott. But it could be also be Bellerin. Or he could have not been born yet.

Taib goonna get ya

lol at spurs. Love the idea that sanchez and ozil and ramsey have the next 6 to 7 years together, they can only improve on the already brillinat understanding of each other.


I am really excited to see Isaac hayden play in pre-season. With the signing of Gabriel and Chambers, I can envision him being deployed as a DM, he can be an understudy to Coquelin. Always wanted to see him make it at this club and I hope whatever chance comes his way, he can take full advantage of it.

Gooner planet

Go tell Man City,
Go tell spurs,
Go tell the whole world.
Our Wenger knows….


So it seems I’m at that stage of my life where only one player in the Arsenal squad is older than me. Long may you keep going Tomas!

I’m starting to think my career as a professional footballer isn’t going to happen..

Gutbukket Deffrolla

You lucky, lucky bastard.

I’m old enough to be Bielik’s grandfather.


So this shows that citeh is full of second hand players.


Starting 11: we miss a World class goal keeper. With the quality of Seaman or Jens L we would be serious title contenders this season.
Cover: we definitely need a DM.
Playing time for the squad should come from better runs in the League cup as well as CL


Awesome to see Gabriel and Welbeck sharing a birthday. Shame I was born 4 days too early for Alexis!


Who’s this Abou Diaby bloke that played 186 games for the AFC?


All retire at the same time? Man Utd and Alex Ferguson – At least our manager thinks ahead.

It takes a good manager to constantly keep the team playing a certain way, challenging and keeping the average age down. Let’s clone Wenger. Our next manager must be a good strategist and tactician.


“No Arsenal player has ever witnessed Sp*rs win the league.”
And every Sp*rs player has witnessed Arsenal win the league. #okbye


So no current Arsenal player was alive when the Spuds last won the league eh?
I’m 51 (and that’s over half a century by the way – half a bloody century) – and I have never seen the Spuds win the league either!
Or come second.
I think they came third on one occasion in the 80s though? If only commemorative DVDs has been available back then……

Arsenal's Legend

The surname of Gabriel please

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Gabriel’s full name is Gabriel Armando de Abreu, but like many Brazilians, he in fact goes only by one name, Gabriel. He is often referred to as Gabriel Paulista, but that means only that he is from Sao Paulo, it is not in fact his name. But the important point is, his surname is irrelevant because it is not what he goes by. Have you ever seen the names of Pele, Neymar, Kaka, and a long, long list of others written with their surnames? It doesn’t happen, because it’s not the way Brazilians do things.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

Thanks Corninho!!


I’m astonished that Abou Diaby has played that many games for us. 186! He’s our 8th highest appearance player. Although he will be 29 next season! I kind of thought he was about 24? He’s been with us for a long time, I hope it works out for him where ever he goes.

Arsenal's Legend

noted* Am just happy that finally we have a scary defender. Am sure he knows how to handle costa. Kos and Gab partnership….. serious minded people…. Good days ahead…… COYG


No Arsenal player has EVER witnessed Sp*rs win the league. Yeah the last time they won it all Arsenal players suffered a rare case of conjunctivitis that left them all blind till the next season started

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