Why Arsenal buying the Oxo kid is a mistake

Much like the government, a lot of the talk round Downing Street has echoed that of what has been spoken about round the Emirates in recent months; Youth policy. What are we going to do with the kids?
Since the arrival of Wenger, Arsenal have placed youth policy high on the agenda. But I’m asking if it has been a success that can be continued, when, in this day and age success to the fans means something totally different to the directors (£££?).
Henri Lansbury, described as a ‘promising midfielder’ has been sent out on loan three times and only made one competitive appearance for Arsenal, Thomas Cruise, also loaned out and had one first team appearance. A similar story unfolded with Jay Emanuel Thomas, one start for the Gunners, three separate loan spells and a permanent move to Ipswich. However, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs are set to become first team regulars, but is one decent young player already touted to play for England and one fringe player really enough to sustain the club’s top four status?
Back in the early Wenger days, Arsenal engaged in an aggressive youth and young player acquisition policy and stars such as Henry, Viera, Senderos, Fabregas, Walcott, Nasri and, most recently Oxlade Chamberlain has been sourced. Though many of these players have had or are having relative success on the field at Arsenal, it does somewhat undermine the youth system when you see home grown talent sent out on loan after loan.
There is no doubt that the scouting network Wenger has put in place has worked wonders over the past fifteen years but what we are starting to see is that Arsenal’s failure to capitalise on potential league titles and cup runs has made these young and hungry players treat Arsenal much like they have treated their ‘parent club’, as a stepping stone to pastures new.
Take the instance of Cesc Fabregas, he gave five years of excellent service to the club as a youngster and now we have cashed in on the experience and the nurturing that he had at the club. So, the king is dead. Long live the king? Are we yet again looking for the shoulders of youth to carry us forward? If so, it is clear to all that the boy Jack Wilshere will be the man (boy?) for the job. The difference being, when comparing Barcelona and Man Utd, when they allow their home grown talent the opportunity to thrive in the first team, they can expect a lifetime of service, like the Giggs, Scholes and Nevilles of this world. These are players who have grown into their responsibilities and have not been exposed to this stepping stone culture.
The business model at Arsenal is a risky one but has paid dividends in the past. Though now other competitor clubs are in the scouting market, attracting the crème of the crop has become far more difficult and the business model now needs to be scrutinised closer than ever. Is it in best interest of the club to nurture foreign talents in terms of success, or is it all about money? Financially, it seems that it is no question, but unless the money gained from selling these child prodigies is not wisely reinvested back into the team with proven ability, I’m afraid that Arsenal may get bogged down in a self perpetuating cycle of supplying competition with the goods. Why not buy proven players and invest more in the youth system in Islington and expect a lifetime of service from the local players, opposed to plucking the best products from France and Southampton. If Oxlade Chamberlain is the next big thing, history tells us that he won’t be the next big thing and be playing at Arsenal.

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