Sunderland Roy Keane has accused Arsenal and Chelsea of signing top youngsters rather than developing their own talent.
“The word on the street is they (Arsenal) have a group of kids coming through that will be absolutely outstanding,” Keane said.
“But you go on about the kids coming through but a lot of them have been bought from other clubs, not through the academy at Arsenal. It’s the same with Chelsea.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signed Theo Walcott from Southampton as a 17-year-old and also splashed out on Cardiff’s teenage midfielder Aaron Ramsey this close-season, while Cesc Fabregas was poached from Barcelona’s youth system.
Chelsea have performed a similar trick by luring players from other clubs’ academies, notably Leeds United duo Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo.
“We have tough battles up here in terms of signing young players and are restricted in terms of our location,” Keane added.
“You can only bring in kids from a certain radius and a lot of our radius is in the water. Any good fish out there?”