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Big-spending Man City face their toughest test yet as Arsenal make the trip to Eastlands – see all the best odds here.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has cautioned against raising the age at which young footballers can move between clubs.

The transfer ban imposed on Chelsea over their alleged poaching of Lens winger Gael Kakuta, now 18, in 2007 has prompted suggestions the system be overhauled.

“Look at the alternative. The player will be sold anyway,” said Wenger.

“To whom? To agents. At what age? At 13, 14. Where will they go? Not to top-level clubs with top-level education.”

“If a player goes to Man United, Chelsea or Arsenal it’s all clear and he gets a good education. Fifa can come here and immediately I open the door for inspection to show them what we do and how we treat the boys. That’s not the case everywhere. There are some places in Brazil where the boys do not have the same conditions or treatment we have here.

“If you have a child who’s gifted at football, what is his best opportunity to develop as a player? If you have a child who’s very gifted for music, you try to put him in a good music school, not in an average one. Why should that not happen in football? I’ve been long enough in the game to be convinced that the best must play with the best — there’s no better education.

“[Cesc] Fabregas has not wasted his time here. We took advantage of a period of Barcelona that was messy, and [Lionel] Messi is a good example. Barcelona took Messi from Argentina at the age of 12, paid for his medical treatment and brought his entire family over.

“Messi is the best player in the world and a good counter-example of what Fifa is fighting against. In Barcelona he got a good education and was looked after medically. Should you forbid that?

Wenger also suggested that the influx of talent helps, rather than hinders, young English players.

“To expose your local players to top-world class players does not harm your players, it improves your players,” he added.

“It respects one basic rule – the best to become better have to play better.”

Big-spending Man City face their toughest test yet as Arsenal make the trip to Eastlands – see all the best odds here.

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