Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hit out at the critics of his exciting youth system - insisting the next wave of youngsters will be dominated by English kids.

Wenger was yesterday on the verge of wrapping up a deal for Luke Freeman - a 15-year-old striker who has already played for Gillingham's first team.

English kids Kieran Gibbs, Mark Randall and Henri Lansbury have appeared in Arsenal's Carling Cup side this term - and Wenger insists this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The Gunners chief, preparing for today's home clash with Birmingham, said: "We have top-class English youngsters at this club. We have two players under 14 and technically they have nothing to learn.

"From 14 to 20, we have a good level. It is the best group of English players since I have been here.

"Our target is to produce good players. It would be special if they are English and I hope it could be a legacy.

"Hopefully, some of them will be in the first-team squad next season. I would love to field an English Carling Cup team.

"I know how much the English national team means to people and I would love to contribute."