Wenger not convinced by transfer ban
While other managers seem to be queueing up in support of the proposed transfer ban of under 18′s, Arsene Wenger believes that the idea is flawed.
The recent decision by Fifa to ban Chelsea from the next two transfer windows has sparked a number of allegations against Premier League football clubs for ‘poaching’ young footballers. It has been suggested that a total ban on the transfer of under 18′s will solve the problem but Wenger thinks that this could lead to some players failing to fulfil their potential.
In a recent press conference, the Arsenal boss highlighted Lionel Messi as an example of a player that has benefited from the current system.
“Messi is a good counter-example of what Fifa is fighting against,
“They [Barcelona] took Messi from Argentina at the age of 12, paid for his medical treatment and brought his entire family over. You can ask whether that is right or wrong, but Messi today is the best player in the world.
“In Barcelona he got a good education and was looked after medically. Should you forbid that? Maybe Messi would still have got a good education in Argentina, but not all the boys will.”
Arsenal are widely renowned for the quality of their youth system and current captain Cesc Fabregas is just one of their players to have made a big impact after completing a transfer at a young age. Fabregas joined from Barcelona aged 16 in 2003 and is now a key player for club and country. Wenger believes that the move has helped to speed up his development.
“As for Fabregas, he has not wasted his time here but he could have also played in the under-17′s at Barcelona.” said the Frenchman.
“We took advantage of a period at Barcelona that was messy.”
Unfortunately for Wenger, not every club plays by the rules and it seems likely that Fifa will have to introduce a ban in an attempt to keep the peace. A number of Premier League clubs currently have complaints against their name and while Arsenal’s reputation remains untarnished, the days of the child transfers appear to be numbered.