Arsenal’s youth policy has been given the backing of former manager George Graham who is also impressed by the work Mikel Arteta is doing at the club.
Graham, a legendary figure at the club having won domestic and European honours as both a player and coach, knows full well what it’s like to benefit from a conveyor belt of academy talent.
The Scot fielded the likes of Tony Adams, Paul Davis, David Rocastle, Michael Thomas, Paul Merson, Martin Hayes, Ray Parlour and many others during his time in charge in the late 80s and early 90s and believes the latest generation are worth getting excited about.
“The youngsters have been outstanding,” he told the Camden New Journal.
“Arsenal have always been famous for bringing in young players and have always been renowned for having a great youth policy.
“It’s a credit not only to the people at the club who run the youth set-up but for the club as a whole.
“They like to introduce their own young players and at the moment the club has a lot of talent in the youth that are doing well in the first-team.”
Much like Graham, Arteta inherited a squad in need of a rebuild and tasted early success with a domestic cup honour. It remains to be seen whether the Spaniard can deliver league titles like his predecessor but the style of play is moving in the right direction, according to the 77-year-old.
“I think Arteta has done a very good job since he’s come to the club. It was at a transition period.
“He’s bringing a certain philosophy to the club which he learned under [Pep] Guardiola at Manchester City – some of the possession play is really fantastic. It’s great to watch, I love watching it.
“Unfortunately, they just missed out on the top four last season but I really like the way they play.
“I hope they do well this season. I want them to qualify for the Champions League. The only problem is the standard is so high. Liverpool, Manchester City and even Chelsea are top, top teams and Arsenal have got to compete with them, which I’m sure they will.”