Robert Pires has claimed that Arsenal need to sign more English players in upcoming transfer windows.
The Frenchman referred to his time at the club, admitting that the British core including the likes of David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Ashley Cole, Ray Parlour helped them succeed.
Pires believes that the Premier League is different to any other competition in the world, and that having players born in the country with the right mentality are integral to any squad in the top flight.
The former Gunners player then suggested targetting English player went against the club’s philosophy as he quickly adding he respected the club’s values.
“We need English players because we are in England and nobody else has grown up with this mentality,” he told The Athletic.
“You need to be born here. It’s very nice when you get to discover new countries but for me when you play in England you need English players.”
“Of course, I respect the Arsenal philosophy but we are in the Premier League and it’s so tough every weekend.”
What do we think?
In the Gunners’ recent 2-0 defeat to Leicester City, Unai Emery only named two British players in his starting squad – Rob Holding and Calum Chambers.
Having said that, Arsenal have introduced the likes of Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka into their squad this season so it seems strange that Pires has claimed they need more English players that could help them succeed.
Liverpool are currently running away at the top of the Premier League table, and in their recent 3-1 victory over Manchester City at Anfield, they only named two English players in their starting line up.
Yes, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson are established internationals compared to Chambers and Holding, but their success definitely proves that Pires’ claims aren’t going to be pivotal to where they will finish in the league this season.
The Premier League has changed drastically since Pires and the invincibles of Arsenal and the standard of football has changed so for the Frenchman to publically announce that his side needs more English players seems strange.