Baptista questions Arsenal youth

Image: Baptista: Former Arsenal recruit

Julio Baptista believes Arsenal's young players lack the experience required to succeed in Europe.

Former Gunners recruit says youth stars lack experience

Roma striker Julio Baptista believes the Italians will have experience on their side when they come up against a young Arsenal squad in the UEFA Champions League. The two sides meet in the last 16 of Europe's elite competition, with the first leg at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday before the return fixture in Italy on 11th March. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is expected to field a number of his young players in the absence of injured trio Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and Eduardo. Baptista himself is no stranger to the Arsenal manager's tactics having spent a season on loan with the North London club. The 27-year-old, though, believes experience counts for much more at this stage in the competition.


"Don't get me wrong, it isn't a defect," said the Brazilian striker. "But when you're playing at this level, the last 16 of the Champions League, a lack of international experience can give your opponents the advantage." Roma-Arsenal is one of three Anglo-Italian matches taking place next week, with Chelsea up against Juventus and Manchester United travelling to Inter Milan. "For sure they will be three great matches between the best teams in Europe. For us, as for Juventus and Inter, it will be hard because at the moment English football is the forefront. "Inter, Roma and Juventus have everything needed to do well against Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, but it will be fundamental not to make any mistakes because if you mess up even briefly, you're out and can't recover. "For this reason, us, Inter and Juventus cannot commit any errors."

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