Unai Emery says the first thing he learned when he came to Arsenal was how important the Academy was, and historically how it had produced young players for the club.
The manager seems keen to harness the talent coming through this season, with the likes of Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe clearly in his plans.
Speaking after the 4-0 win over Standard Liege, Emery told the Evening Standard, “The very first thing I learnt when I came here was how historically important the academy and young players are to this club,” he said.
“It is my responsibility to carry on that work from the academy and progress those players for when they arrive to the first-team, help them in training every day.
“It is a process that takes time, the progress needs time but also needs a lot of support from the coach, the club and the supporters outside.”
And on Willock, who grabbed his third goal of the season and continued an impressive campaign so far, the manager outlined the progress he felt the 20 year old has made.
“Willock started the pre-season with us last year, I didn’t give him more minutes but he was with us in every game, working in training, playing matches in the cup and at the end of the season,” said Emery.
“He deserved to start this season with the first-team and with us. My decision was after I saw him the last two months of last season working with us, his really big challenge was that Jack Wilshere left here, Aaron Ramsey left and he had to take that opportunity to be with us.
“The last months of last year was the moment I spoke with him and said: ‘For you it is a big challenge in the new season to do differently and really show us you can take their position in this squad’.
“I told him he is improving but he needs to not stop that improvement, we are working with him to improve even more.
?But, if his progression keeps going the way it is going right now, I don’t know when he will stop and how far he can go.”