Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger Continues Project Youth By Signing Auxerre And FC Barcelona Youngsters

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is continuing to build through youth, as he prepares to sign Auxerre youth Yaya Sanogo and FC Barcelona academy prospect Josimar Quintero.

Despite rumors of a sizeable transfer kitty and links to several high-profile stars, Wenger is adhering to his faith in developing youngsters. That policy, dubbed "project youth" by its critics, has delighted and infuriated Gunners supporters in equal measure.

When it works, as in the cases of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, it is heartily endorsed by Arsenal fans. It is seen as the hallmark of Wenger's genius in the transfer market and the field of player development.

When it fails, as in the cases of Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson, Wenger's belief in building through youth is targeted as the main reason for Arsenal's prolonged trophy drought.

Many believe it is next to impossible for Arsenal to credibly contend for the major prizes, with Wenger's young fledglings competing against established starts at other clubs.

News that Wenger is set to sign two players with a combined age of just 36, is likely to rankle with those who believe Arsenal have to spend big to win. This is supposed to be the summer when that finally happens.

The Gunners have been linked with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic and Wayne Rooney. All are top-level talents, costing in excess of £20 million.

They are the kind of players many believe Wenger must recruit if he hopes to keep pace in the English Premier League. It's not an unreasonable argument, given the riches on offer at Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

However, underpinning the club with a plethora of promising youths, doesn't rule out Wenger signing established names. Also, the Frenchman's record of honing youngsters into top stars, should make the signing of any young player an exciting prospect.

Sanogo has been on Wenger's radar for some time and is a striker of considerable promise. Reports in The Guardian, quote Wenger indicating a completed deal is close.

This author first analyzed rumors Arsenal were working on a deal for Sanogo, back in March. In many ways the 20-year-old is the classic Wenger signing.

Youthful, French and stocked full of potential, Sanogo has all the qualities Wenger has often recruited to build his Arsenal squads. He is also Wenger's type of striker.

Sanogo is a highly impressive athlete, blessed with terrific pace and natural strength. The tall and rangy forward is a nightmare for defenders.

He shares similar qualities to previous Wenger finds Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet. Wenger brought that talented pair through while in charge of AS Monaco.

Last summer Wenger's search for the next young French striking star, led him to M'Baye Niang. He lost out to AC Milan in that race, but Sanogo is more than adequate compensation.

The only question mark concerning the youngster, is his durability. Sanogo missed nearly two seasons with a broken leg and subsequent ailments related to his recovery.

He has featured only sporadically since his return, never managing to play five consecutive games. Given Arsenal's history with brittle stars like Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky, Sanogo's suspect fitness record has to be a concern.

Wenger will likely take a cautious approach to Sanogo's development. Considering the deal to sign him is a free transfer, it is low risk, high reward move from the Arsenal boss.

The same is true of Quintero. A report from Fanatix.com, citing an article from Arseblog News, suggests Arsenal will sign the 16-year-old at the end of the season.

Wenger struck gold when he snared Cesc Fabregas from Barca's famous youth academy. He also currently has two former Barcelona youngsters developing into stars in the Arsenal youth and reserve ranks.

Jon Toral and particularly Hector Bellerin, both have the potential to quickly play roles in the first team. Quintero, like Bellerin, is another tricky wide player, blessed with exceptional pace and the customary accomplished technique.

By continuing to recruit talented youngsters, Wenger maintains the character and philosophy Arsenal have come to signify during his tenure.

He continues to integrate prospects at every level of the club, who play the Wenger way, expansive and attractive passing football. If just one or two of these bright young things turn into stars, Arsenal will have acquired world class talent on the cheap.

The next step in crafting a trophy-winning formula, has to be supplementing Wenger's youthful foundation with some established talent.