Arsenal chief Per Mertesacker has insisted he will never tell young players they are the best in the world, having experienced the negative side of such superlatives.

Mertesacker is current the Academy Manager at Arsenal, having transitioned to the role after bringing his playing career to an end in 2018.

His job is to ensure the young prospects at the Emirates develop as the club would hope, a job that has taken on added significance since Mikel Arteta was appointed as manager.

The Spaniard has put a strict focus on youth since his arrival, something that has seen the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and now Eddie Nketiah given their chance in the first team.

This path is something Arsenal are keen to see youngsters walk down on a regular basis in future, especially as their academy is known for continually producing young talent.

For that to happen, though, Mertesacker and his team have to ensure their development goes to plan and does not end up derailed by the pitfalls of modern football.

One of those is being overhyped, something Mertesacker admits he goes out of his way to avoid doing with those in his charge.

“The talents that make it into professional football are one per cent,” he told the FE: male view on football podcast.

“That’s why we have to provide the programme where we put football at the centre, but also teach values that can help in life.

“If we tell the boys at 15, 16 that they are the best in the world and will definitely make it, then that is a big negligence and a lie. I couldn’t live with that.

“I am very careful with superlatives. I experienced it myself when I was 15 or 16. There were other superstars who didn’t even make it into the top four leagues.

“It’s almost impossible to predict footballing talent and to realise that it’s going to be something in the top leagues. That’s why I stay away from it.”