South American street soccer is key, insists Arsenal boss

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes South America is streets ahead when it comes to producing elite strikers.

The Frenchman’s comments came after Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez toyed starred in the 3-0 win against Burnley.

Sanchez has impressed since arriving in the Premier League, scoring eight goals in 11 games, and Wenger puts it down to American street football.

“If you look across Europe and the world of football, then South America is the only continent to develop strikers today,” the manager said.

“If you look across Europe where are the strikers from? You will see that many of them – at least 80 per cent – come from South America.

“So we have to question ourselves: what can we add to our academies to develop strikers again?

If you look at the 60s, 70s in England, even when I arrived in 1996, in every club you had strikers and I mean strikers – those who could head the ball. We have less now. In Germany they went to the World Cup with Klose, who is 35.

“Maybe in our history street football has gone. In street football when you are 10 years old, you play with 15-year-olds so you have to be shrewd, you have to show that you are good, you have to fight and win impossible balls.

“When it is all a bit more formulated then it is developing your individual skill, your fighting attitude less. We have lost a little bit of that in football.”


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