Arsene Wenger believes that China could pave the way for top quality football in the future, with the Arsenal manager looking forward to visiting the country as part of his side's pre-season trip.

The Gunners will head to China as well as Hong Kong and Malaysia during their tour, and with a host of fresh faces already in the squad this summer, the matches will not only get the side ready for the season ahead, but Wenger will have a chance to work on his tactics as they learn to play together.

And though the Frenchman admits China's league still has a long way to go to reach the heights of European football, he is confident that if it continues in this direction, Arsenal will be facing a great deal more competition there when they travel in the future.

"The China league is a bit like the Japan league, where I was in 1994," Wenger told the Arsenal website. "That was the third year of professional football in Japan and it is similar in China, but it is not enough.

"To make a sport popular you need the elite and you need a strong basis of the number of people who practice the game. The elite can give the appetite to the others to play, but after you need to support that and have the coaches to create the practice in the younger generations.

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal will face greater competition in Asia as their football leagues progress (REUTERS)

"Usually, sport follows the economic power, and the economic power is moving at the moment from Europe to China and Brazil. These countries, if they have the desire, they will have the players. The history is in Europe - but how long can we resist the power of China if they really want to develop football? The future will tell."

In true form to the Arsenal manager, Wenger insisted that as football continues to develop in Asia, youth programs will be given more money to invest in creating young stars of the future for the continent.

"We have an organisation that starts at a very young age, with the same ingredients in our coaching lessons," he explained. "They are all based on intelligence of movement and, of course, passion and motivation.

"To make a career at the top level you need a fantastic motivation. Maybe only two per cent of the population has the required motivation to make a massive career. You can love football without being ready to give everything for it.

"But if you want to be a great football player it has to mean everything for you. This kind of motivation comes naturally if you have a good basis of education in football."

Shanghai Shenhua are currently leading the way with big name signings in Asia, with the club having confirmed former Chelsea stars Nikolas Anelka and Didier Drogba joining the line up next season.

And clubs such as Arsenal may find that as big-spending owners take over more Chinese clubs, they will have to compete harder to hold onto their top players.