Wenger frustrated as Irish youngsters chose Liverpool over Arsenal

Wenger frustrated as Irish youngsters chose Liverpool over Arsenal

Arsene Wenger is frustrated with the club's lack of Irish players of the same quality as Liam Brady (pictured left during the FA Cup Final in 1979 - Arsenal 3 v Manchester United 2

ARSENE WENGER has questioned whether Ireland produces young footballers of the quality of Liam Brady anymore.

The Gunners boss has also conceded that the north London club – that fielded six Irish players at once in their first team in the late 1970s and early 1980s – are losing out on young Irish talent to Liverpool.

“Does Ireland not produce the players any more? Maybe. But you send them to Liverpool,” he said.

“Maybe our scouting is not good enough anymore in Ireland. If you don’t produce any more Liam Bradys, of course that is a problem. But I would rather say that we have to make a special effort to get players from Ireland again, because it looks like even for the youth teams we don’t have a lot.”

Brady, the outgoing academy director at Arsenal, wanted to sign Irish 18-year-olds Alex O’Hanlon and Jack Byrne but lost out to Liverpool and Manchester City.

As well as O’Hanlon, Liverpool also have 16-year-old defender Corey Whelan and centre-back Daniel Cleary, 18, in their academy.

The Anfield club have partnerships with St Kevin’s and St Josephs boys football clubs.