The Arsenal Society VIII Watch
Was just out of interest really. The Villa academy has produced the likes of Darius Vassell in recent years so wondered how yours shaped up, especially with Wenger's 'philosophy' towards youth. Looks like it hasn't been very successful at all though, which is odd.
Wenger has said that there are a few absolutely outstanding prospects in the academy that 'have nothing more to learn technically' - most people won't have heard of them, and at this point I can only remember a couple.
There's an English/Albanian AM (Alban Bunjaku) who turns 17 in May and a 17 year old Turkish goalkeeper (Yilmasz Aksoy).
He's a very down-to-earth family man by all accounts, and he found it very difficult to move straight from Bastia to Arsenal (hence why we took him on-loan first). Rigobert persuaded him to move to the Premier League and Arsenal are certainly reaping the benefits.
He's a player I don't see leaving the club for quite some time.
Cole was the one that made me think of it, his Wiki says he didn't join until he was 17 though. I was thinking more along the lines of Wilshere and Bentley who joined as kids and progressed up the age ranges picking up DNA as they went.