Arsene Wenger claims his current crop of emerging stars headed by Reiss Nelson are among the best he has ever coached during his 20-year reign.
The Arsenal manager is set to make wholesale changes to the side which held Premier League champions Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge at the weekend and hand opportunities to a clutch of the club’s most promising talents.
Nelson has attracted attention following an impressive pre-season campaign and was rewarded with his competitive debut in the Europa League win over FC Koln last week.
The 17-year-old is likely to feature alongside the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock when the Gunners entertain Doncaster in the Carabao Cup third round and Wenger insists the competition is likely to prove the acid test for his youngsters.
‘They are comparable to the best I’ve had before – some are really promising,’ said Wenger.
‘Now we are at a stage to find out if they have the quality and the second step is to develop them by good coaching.
‘The third step is to integrate them in first team and that is the most difficult because the level of competition in the Premier League is so high now.
‘This season is a very important one for some of them and this competition is a very important one for them too.’