by Daniel Taylor
Wednesday October 31, 2007 The Guardian
Arsène Wenger's policy of recruiting teenagers at Arsenal has been strongly criticised by Uefa's president, Michel Platini. Wenger has a reputation as one of Europe's foremost talent spotters, with Cesc Fábregas, Theo Walcott and Fran Mérida, a highly rated teenager signed from Barcelona, among the youngsters he has brought to the club, but Platini disapproves of his compatriot's approach in the transfer market.
"I do not like the system of Arsène Wenger," the former France international said. "In France, Italy and Spain it is easy to buy with money the best players at 14, 15 or 16. I don't like that. If the best clubs buy the best 15 or 16 players, [then it] is finished for all the clubs in Europe. If my son is playing at Millwall and at 16 Manchester [United] come in for this player, then when will Millwall have a good team?"
Wenger's purchases also include Gilles Sunu, signed at 16 from the French club Chateauroux this year, and Carlos Vela, a Mexican forward bought at the same age from Chivas de Guadalajara two years ago and now on loan at Osasuna in Spain. In 1999 Wenger brought a 15-year-old Jermaine Pennant from Notts County.