ARSENE Wenger has praised Saints for their ability to produce international standard players.
Wenger is a long-time admirer of the Saints academy, and his signed two players from the club in the last seven years.
Both Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are expected to be involved when Arsenal roll up at St Mary’s for tomorrow evening’s Premier League contest.
Walcott has played well over 200 games for Arsenal since arriving in January 2006 aged just 16 in a deal which was eventually worth £9.1m to Saints.
Arsenal raided Saints again in the summer of 2011 when securing Oxlade-Chamberlain in a £12m deal.
It has looked another sound investment, as the 19-year-old has developed quickly and since won full England honours, playing at Euro 2012.
Wenger, who has been linked with a move for Saints’ teenage left back Luke Shaw, feels the club deserve praise for their player development.
“They have done a fabulous job – you also look at Gareth Bale and what he is doing now at Tottenham,” he said.
“It is down to the quality of their scouting, the quality of their coaching and education.”