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Arsenal academy chief Mertesacker raps parents: They think their sons will pay for pension

Arsenal academy chief Per Mertesacker says he's learning to handle the ambitions of... parents.

Mertesacker wants to build up Arsenal's academy but admits he is concerned about the future of youth development and, in particular, the pressure some mums and dads put on youngsters.

He said: “Sometimes I get the feeling some parents really think about their son who can take them and pay for their pension, especially being in London.

“I've never grown up in those scenarios."

And he warned: “If you change the dynamics and energy of ­family then bad things will ­happen.

“That's my experiences of what happens when you open up and be really honest with the one per cent with the chance of being in a first team.

“I'm working on the ­relationships with the parents so they feel the relationship is the best.

“And the programme for life, no matter what happens, is the best."

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