Arsenal have best young English players in Premiership - Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists he'd prefer to sign English players over foreigners.

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"I don't feel obliged to field English players, but I would prefer it," he said. "I don't look at where players have come from, but it is not always possible to find English players at the moment.

"We are competing financially with Manchester United and Chelsea for the best English players, but our academy has a lot. If you look at our Under 14s, our Under 16s and Under 17s we have the best young English players in the country. Our youth team is 80 per cent English.

"The good thing about signing English players is that there is less uncertainty. If you buy a player from Spain, you don't know if he will like the weather or the food, or whether he will want to go back to Spain."

Wenger was speaking at the launch of Arsenal TV and he later claimed he can assess a potential signing's personality by watching him play.

He added: "With 95 per cent of players, you have to convince them that they have the quality to go to the top. The other five per cent come to you and tell you that they should be in the team because they are the best player in the world.

"Their egos are so big, but I won't sign anyone who doesn't think he can be a star. I only want to help players who want to be a success - and you can assess that at 18."

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