Football

Wenger: Time to relook loan system

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 have almost 40 players farmed out to other clubs, have come under criticism for exploiting loan rules, by snapping up youngsters before immediately sending them out to gain experience.

"It is one of the big problems in the modern game," Wenger said.

"You invest a lot of money into players because we're paying more and more and then, at the age of 20, you don't get much for any of the players. So the reflex is to stockpile the players. That's not right.

"When you look at the number of loans, the whole system has to be thought about again because we have two kinds of solution.

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"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 winger Victor Moses and midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah the only two players in the current first-team squad to have returned after loan spells elsewhere.

"Maybe you could create a possibility for some clubs to own part of a League One club as a feeder club," said Wenger, who has 13 players out on loan.

"After that, a limitation on the number of players on your books could work.

"The way a youth team are 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." - REUTERS

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