JERMAINE JENAS reckons Sir Bobby Robson has turned Newcastle United into the perfect breeding ground for young English talent - and insists his close friend Jermaine Pennant's Arsenal frustration proves his point.

Jenas and Pennant grew up together in Nottingham, with the former learning his trade at Forest while his mate rose through Notts County's ranks.

Since moving to Arsenal for £2m as a 15-year-old in 1999, however, Pennant has made just two Premiership appearances and admitted recently that he may have to quit Highbury.

Jenas, by contrast, has made his England debut this season and starred in the Champions League, barely 12 months after leaving Forest.

While Arsenal and Manchester United have filled their squads with expensive signings from abroad, stunting the development of their youngsters, 20-year-old Jenas has benefited from Robson's policy.

He said: "Newcastle is as good to be as anywhere. Arsenal and Manchester United have bought in lots of players, but other clubs prefer to bring their youngsters through.

"What they're doing will only help the future of English football, and Newcastle is a good place to be as a young Englishman.

"Some players, like Jermaine Pennant, are not getting a look-in at other clubs at the present time.

"I'm sure they've got the ability, but at the moment it's not happening for them."

Meanwhile, Jenas has revealed he wants people to pronounce his name differently - "Gee-nas" rather than "Jenas".

He said: "I've been getting loads of stick from my family because everyone's been getting my name wrong.

"When my dad was younger, his name was Dennis Genas. But he wanted to change it so that his initials were DJ!

"When I was born, my surname was given as 'Jenas' on the birth certificate. But it should be pronounced with a 'G' rather than a 'J'."

Turkish League leaders Besiktas were last night linked with an audacious move for Craig Bellamy.

Besiktas coach Sinan Engin was said to have asked Newcastle United's director of football Gordon Milne, who has managed in Turkey, about the striker's availability.

But Newcastle would be unwilling to listen to offers for Bellamy, who signed a new five-year contract earlier this season.

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