How do Arsene's Brits compare to Fergie's Fledglings?

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

Arsenal are building for the future with a core of British youngsters - How do they compare to Manchester United's successful group of a couple of decades ago?

It was touch and go at one stage, but Arsenal secured the future of Theo Walcott for the next three-and-a-half years at least, with him signing a new deal last month.

He isn't the only young British star the Gunners have in their fold. At the end of last year they signed five others on long-term deals; Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Including Walcott, the six of them represent Arsenal's long-term future, regardless of whether they clinch Champions League qualification or not.

It's a stability which bodes well for the club's future over the next three-to-four seasons at least, and gives them a platform which to build around; which Arsene Wenger is doing with top talents from Spain, France, and Germany.

Even if Wenger was to walk away at the end of this season or next, he can do so in the knowledge he has laid down some major groundwork for the next boss to build upon.

It's wise, and it's what many Arsenal fans have so long cried out for. Wenger's previously been criticised for buying too many foreign imports, but has now brought them a British core.

Exactly this laid the foundations for Manchester United's years of dominance in the mid-nineties and beyond, and this Arsenal bunch have a chance to grow together and develop in a similar way.

Pep Guardiola's brilliant Barcelona side were built on a Spanish core of players, and Bayern Munich full German internationals; it sounds obvious and makes sense, but it isn't so easy to get such a talented group all come through at the same time like Arsenal currently have.

Jack Wilshere is the pick of the Arsenal bunch; he is a player whose tackling has already seen him compared with Paul Scholes, his vision and passing lend themselves the same way.

The rest of Fergie's fledglings were Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt and David Beckham.

Each of Arsenal's players are different, and they will ultimately be judged as successes or failures on how many medals they win.

But at this early stage, how do you feel Arsenal's Brits measure up?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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