The Premier League has evolved, says Arsenal boss Wenger

The Gunners manager has discussed the changes in tactical flexibility and formations which have taken place since he took charge at Highbury in 1996

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has spoken out about the "evolution" of the Premier League since his arrival in England over 16 years ago.

The Frenchman believes teams nowadays are more tactically flexible, insisting that the majority of sides simply stuck to 4-4-2 in the past.

"When I arrived in England I would say there was one rigid formation, 4-4-2," Wenger told Arsenal Magazine.

"Today teams are more versatile, they can go to three defenders, five defenders, they can go to 4-4-1, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, all kinds of variants.

"I think the formations teams use are much more flexible than 15 years ago, more adaptable."

However, the 62-year-old insisted the modern emphasis on controlling the midfield has come at the expense of attacking play.

"So yes, evolution has happened, aided by a lot of European games and the influence of foreign players," he added.

"You can call it evolution, but to reduce it to an overall point you would say the midfield has been strengthened and attack has been weakened."

Meanwhile, the Gunners have announced that English youth player Chuba Akpom has signed professional terms with the club on Wednesday.

The 17-year-old from Newham is a regular in the Arsenal Under-21s and has scored twice in three NextGen appearances this term.