Banfield: Arsenal academy graduates playing across Premier League

Arsenal reserves coach Neil Banfield is keen to see more of his youngsters win promotion to the first team.

The New Year is traditionally a time of change, but Banfield is hoping for more of the same in 2012 after seeing a host of players make the step up into Arsène Wenger’s squad over the past 12 months.

“Getting players into the first-team squad is what my job is all about,” Banfield told arsenal.com. “I hope we see a continuation of how things have been going.

“We have seen the likes of Manny [Frimpong], Jack [Wilshere] and Wojciech [Szczesny] coming through, so hopefully we can continue producing players for the Arsenal first team.

“Also, if you look at the Fulham match, two players in their team – Stevie Sidwell and Philippe Senderos – used to be here, while in the previous game, against QPR, Armand Traore, Matthew Connolly and Jay Bothroyd were playing.

“There’s a sprinkling of players in the Premier League [who started at Arsenal]. Our aim first and foremost is to get them into our first team, but if not then we want to give them a good career.”

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