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Arsenal boss Wenger impressed with youth competitions

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is excited by the prospect of the under-21 league and the NextGen series, reports London24. With the changes on the domestic side as well with an under-21 league replacing the old reserve league it the Frenchman believed that the Gunners have a bright future.

"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."

Wenger is also impressed with head of youth Liam Brady's recruitment of coaches - Terry Burton, Pat Holland and Kwame Ampadu.

"I let Liam deal with that, with the youth team," Wenger added. "I think a club works when everybody does his job and that's Liam's job.

"Of course we were in touch about it and he informed me about what he was planning. He has gone for experience and it is highly defendable because they are quality men who have a lot of experience, who have a big passion for the game.

"The problem with young players is that you need a lot of patience and experience, you need a lot of humility as well - and you get that with age. I believe they will do very well and develop some very good young players."

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Dave Williams

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