(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes football needs to address the way clubs are manipulating loan markets to stockpile talent, while adding that short-term deals remain an integral part of a player’s education.
Premier League leaders Chelsea, who currently have almost 40 players farmed out to other clubs, have come under criticism for exploiting loan rules, by snapping up youngsters from various clubs before immediately sending them out to gain experience.
“It is one of the big problems in the modern game. You’ve invested a lot of money into players because we’re paying more and more money, and then at the age of 20 you don’t usually get much for any of the players,” Wenger told the Arsenal Magazine.
”So the reflex is to stockpile the players. That’s not right. When you look at the number of loans that happen here and there, the whole system has to be thought about again because we have two kinds of solution in there.
“The first is to continue developing players, the second step is just to make sure your investment is safe -- and that’s not the right way to think about it but it’s the natural reflex for the clubs.”
Many youngsters have failed to make the grade at Chelsea, with wing-back Victor Moses and midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah the only two players in the current first-team squad to have successfully returned after spells away from Stamford Bridge.
“Maybe you could create a possibility for some clubs to own part of a League One club as a feeder club. After that, a limitation on the number of players on your books could work,” said Wenger, who currently has 13 players out on loan.
“The way a youth team is organised now is that all the best young players go to the richest clubs, which is where they have fewer chances to develop, so you have to make sure the system shares out the best young players equally.”
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru