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Petit urges Arsenal to snub youth for big names

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has urged the club to abandon their policy of developing youngsters and start spending big on high-profile names if they are to win trophies.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have added big-name stardust to a squad littered with home-grown talents such as Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.

In Arsenal's last financial results, it was revealed the club held cash reserves of over £150million, and Petit wants to see this put to use in the transfer market.

"Arsenal's academy policy is very good, up until a certain point, but there is a limit," Petit told Sky Sports. "There are a lot of players coming from the academy who are good but they have failed to improve over the last three or four years.

"This has been a big disappointment for me. Players like Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere are constantly injured and they are not improving. They are good, but not that good, that is why Arsenal need something else in the dressing room.

"You have to bring in experienced players, big names, big characters, players with a winning mentality. They need to bring leaders into this team. They have quality, no doubt, they have big players but not enough. They need leaders, big characters and players that hate to be beaten and love to win, not only games but titles.

"There are only two options for Arsenal. Either they keep on doing what they're doing, or they use the money they have. In the last few years we have seen Arsenal performing well on the pitch but not winning titles, with the exception two FA Cups. They fail at the final step every time, at this crucial time of the season.

"That means they need something to improve the closing stages of the season. That, for me, would be spending the money."