Hannover 96 u19 coach, Stephan Schmidt, will join Per Mertesacker at Arsenal’s Academy to learn from the club and ‘familiarise himself with the English youth structures’.

Arsenal Academy manager Per Mertesacker

English youth football is enjoying something of a purple patch at the minute with a number of youngsters heading out to Germany to gain first-team minutes they are being denied at home.

As such, the interest in English youth academies is on the rise.

“We have to think outside the box,” Hannover’s Academy head, Michael Tarnat told SportBuzzer.

“We cannot assume we are doing everything right.

“We have to think outside the box. The promotion of young talent in England is one of the best in the world. They overtook us and are U20 and U17 World Champions.”

Schmidt is also expected to visit Tottenham and Chelsea.

Mertesacker currently works as the manager of the Arsenal Academy, but he split his playing career between England and Germany. He spent eight seasons playing football in the Bundesliga with Hannover 96 and Werder Bremen, before moving to Arsenal for the final seven years of his professional career in the Premier League.

The 34-year-old recently spoke to German outlet Sport1 about the two countries, and he insisted the Premier League is starting to pull ahead.

“England is above us, the financial side of the game, the attractiveness,” Mertesacker said. “Six clubs compete here for the top four places. The professional opportunities here are great.”