"It's right that we're looking at their younger players," Bruce told the Wigan Observer. "It's a huge ask for a young player to break into Arsenal's team.
"You're always looking for a Larsson, a Pennant or an Upson. We did our homework and when one became available we knew exactly who they were.
"They always thought they'd get a good grounding and a good education. I hope it continues and I can get a couple up here at Wigan.
"Keith Bertschin (Wigan reserve team coach) is a big friend of Steve Bould (head of Arsenal's U18s).
"Then there's the association with me and (Arsenal chief scout) Steve Rowley.
"I played with Neil Banfield when I was 18 and he's in charge of their reserves.
"There will always be good, young players at the big clubs who aren't going to get a game. But they'll be good enough for Wigan."