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Wenger: Reading success down to Arsenal academy

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists Reading are a prime example of why there is no need for foreign limits in the Premiership.

John Halls, Graham Stack, James Harper and Steve Sidwell have all played for the Royals after coming through Arsenal's youth system and Wenger said: "The rule for success is just live around Arsenal and pick off the players who do not make it completely and I promise you will have a very good team.

"There are very good players who will not all make it here but when they drop out they will still make a good team.

"Harper and Sidwell did not get in here because they had Petit and Viera and Edu in front of them. I think to force the clubs in England to have only English players in the side would be detrimental to the smaller clubs."

Others players plying their trade in the Premiership having graduated at Arsenal include Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant, Blackburn midfielder David Bentley, West Ham defender Matthew Upson and Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes.

Wenger added: "I am happy if they have a good life. Sidwell was an important player for them because he had a good partnership with Harper.

"Sidwell's aim was to become a professional football player at a top team. He is. "If we have just contributed a little bit we are happy with that. We take the criticism, no problem.

"As a manager you want to have a positive influence on the life of your football players."

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Tribal Football Staff

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