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Wenger names the next Arsenal youngsters ready to step up to the senior team

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Thursday, December 27, 2012
9:19 AM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the Gunners’ NextGen Series squad is full of youngsters who will be capable of making the step up to the first team soon.

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The likes of Serge Gnabry, Jernade Meade and Thomas Eisfeld have already had senior debuts this season, and Wenger says Kris Olsson, Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin and Martin Angha are among those who also have the potential to progress.

“We have a good group coming through at the moment and I believe in one or two years you will see them more,” Wenger told the Official Arsenal Magazine.

“They have done well in the NextGen Series so far this season, and there are five or six players in there you can identify who will join the group in the future.

“That could make a very strong bunch of players who have been educated with our philosophy and can build the long-term future for the Club.

“[The competition] is a very interesting experience. First of all the quality of the games are very good.

“Also they are confronted with the best young players from all over Europe, and so we can compare our players with the best from other big clubs, and they can compare themselves too.

“It helps you see who can make it at that level. The games have some pressure on them too, which helps to work out which players have a chance to make it. That’s very important for us.

“We have seen people like Kris Olsson, Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin this season - I don’t want to forget anybody - Martin Angha too who has already played for the first team.

“There are many interesting players in this group. I would say there are seven or eight who have a real chance to play for Arsenal.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.