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Arsenal boss Wenger convinced English football will benefit from U21 comp

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has welcomed the new U21 Premier League competition.

The Gunners are also debuting in the NextGen series this season.

"The Under-21 League has replaced the Reserve League, which was already a disguised under-21 league because you can play three players over 21," he told Arsenal Player. "That's what was already happening before so I don't think there's a lot of change in there.

"But we will anyway play in the Under-21 League with 18- and 17-year-old players and you could see that the other night [when Arsenal beat Bolton 3-1]. You had players like Serge Gnabry, like Kristoffer Olsson, who are 17 years old.

"It is a good competition for them because sometimes to see them at the Emirates in a different environment highlights a little bit the importance of the game. Overall there is not a big change but the structure is a little bit different.

"What has changed is that the whole country is better structured, competition-wise," added Wenger. "We are in the NextGen competition as well which is a bit like the Champions League of the youth teams. That is interesting as well.

"I believe overall it is more exciting and what we want to create as well is an elite group of young boys who can play in the NextGen and be compared to what Arsenal will face tomorrow. Football of tomorrow will be played by this generation."

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