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Bruce "Arsene Is My Connect"

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Wigan boss Steve Bruce hopes to raid Arsenal’s youth ranks to boost his struggling squad in the future.The former Birmingham manager has close connections at Emirates Stadium having signed Matthew Upson, Jermaine Pennant, Fabrice Muamba and Sebastian Larsson from The Gunners as well as taking Nicklas Bendtner and Johan Djourou on loan.And Bruce intends to maintain this relationship and give more of Arsenal’s youngsters a taste of first team football."It's right that we're looking at their younger players,” Bruce told the Wigan Observer. “It's a huge ask for a young player to break into Arsenal's team."You're always looking for a Larsson, a Pennant or an Upson. We did our homework and when one became available we knew exactly who they were."They always thought they'd get a good grounding and a good education. I hope it continues and I can get a couple up here at Wigan."Keith Bertschin (Wigan reserve team coach) is a big friend of Steve Bould (head of Arsenal's U18s)."Then there's the association with me and (Arsenal chief scout) Steve Rowley."I played with Neil Banfield when I was 18 and he's in charge of their reserves."There will always be good, young players at the big clubs who aren't going to get a game. But they'll be good enough for Wigan."

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