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Norwich 16:15 Arsenal

Wenger reveals ingredients

Gunners boss hails Fabregas' talent and development

Last Updated: 11/08/08 5:15pm

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Wenger and Euro 2008 winner Fabregas

Wenger and Euro 2008 winner Fabregas

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has acclaimed Cesc Fabregas' dedication and maturity, while revealing the three ingredients he considers integral when identifying stars of the future.

The French tactician has earned a reputation for discovering and blooding young talent since taking over The Gunners in 1996.

In July 2003, Wenger brought Fabregas - who was just 16 at the time - to North London from Barcelona.

The Arsenal manager's acquisition proved a fruitful one, with Fabregas flourishing into one of the best midfielders in the world.

And Wenger has heaped praise on the Spain international, expressing his belief that Fabregas optimises the ideal attitude of an aspiring footballer - hungry for success.

"This boy is very young. But at a very young age he has to make big decisions," Wenger said at Nike Live's The Cesc Fabregas Show.

"It is what you make of your talent. At some stage you need to have the intelligence to realise what you have to do.


"At 16-years-old he had to decide to leave his parents and sign for Arsenal football club. What got him to do that is the tremendous desire to become a great football player.

"What you can learn from someone successful is how much he is ready to give to be good.

"When you get up in the morning we are always torn in the comfort zone and being the best. It is about saying to yourself 'I want to be the best'."

This year, the Football Association has outlined its plans to address an apparent dearth of English talent.

And Wenger, who has often brought in youngsters from abroad, has revealed the qualities he and his coaching staff look for when identifying a gifted footballer.

"I have been in touch with many great players, and it is always about a combination of talent, intelligence and motivation," said Wenger.

"If one of the three is missing then there is no great career. We say that god doesn't give you everything, but in some he gives more."

The Frenchman went on to draw on his analogy of a player's development mirroring the foundations and building of a house.

"You build a player like you build a house," he explained. "The basis or foundation is the technique, which you get between seven and 14 years of age.

"With no technical skill at 14, you can forget it; you will never be a football player.

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"The second part - first floor - is the physical aspect. This is decided between 14 and 17. Will they be quick enough or strong enough?

"The third part - second floor - is the tactical aspect. Does he understand the game? How can I relate to you if you have the ball, do I know where to go?

"The final part is decided at 18 or 19 years of age. How much do I want to be successful? That is the final floor - the roof. With no roof it rains in and the house collapses."

Join the Sky Sports debate on Wenger's approach, the identification of talent and the state of the English game via the form below.

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