I don't want to put too much pressure on Wilshere but he has the potential to be the next Brady, says Wenger

Arsene Wenger feels Jack Wilshere has the potential to one day become an Arsenal legend like Liam Brady.

The 16-year-old scored his first senior goal as part of the youthful Gunners side - with an average age of just 19 - who ripped Sheffield United apart to win 6-0 in the Carling Cup at the Emirates Stadium last night.  

Jack Wilshere

Shining brightly: Arsenal youngster Wilshere (left) and United's Chris Morgan

Wilshere became the youngest player to represent Arsenal in league football when he came off the bench at Blackburn 11 days ago and looks all set to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, who is now an established member of Wenger's first XI.


The Arsenal manager is in no doubt the Hertfordshire-born starlet - who joined the club aged nine - has all the traits needed to make the grade with the Gunners.  

'He is a quiet boy, very determined and focused. For the rest, the talent is there. You have seen that again,' said Wenger, who has entrusted the future of the club to former midfielder Brady - an FA Cup winner in 1979 and now head of the Gunners Academy.  

'When you are a manager of a boy like that who has the talent, you are always cautious to put too much pressure on him and too high a level of expectation.  

'I believe it is all in there, but also that I have a responsibility to nurture him and get him in the right development over the next two or three years, that will be vital.  

'From 16 to 19 is a very important age for the development of a football player - and Jack has skipped a few classes!'

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere celebrates scoring for Arsenal

Wenger added: 'People tell me he is a bit like Liam Brady, because he has good balance and change of direction.  

'I believe later [in his career] he will be a central midfielder or behind the strikers.'

Mexican striker Carlos Vela may be only 19, but Wenger feels this could be a breakthrough season for the pacy young forward, who chalked up a superb hat-trick against the Blades last night.  

'Carlos is a player who has everything in his locker of a good striker," said Wenger, pleased to finally have the Central American back in the Arsenal fold following a couple of seasons on loan in Spain.  

'He is agile, has a good first touch and very calm in front of goal. Also, he is clinical and quick finisher and I just think he is top class.'

At 20, Dane Nicklas Bendtner was one of the more senior men on display last night, and he already has plenty of first-team experience in all competitions.  

His double - the first following a superb low finish from 20 yards - took the goals tally for the season to four.


The future's bright: Arsenal's youngsters light up the Emirates.

Bendtner has come through the Arsenal youth system, and had a spell out on loan with Birmingham in the Championship.  

The big striker feels the Gunners have plenty of strength in reserve.  

'It shows we have a good young side and good young players with a lot of belief and quality who can go into the big games and play really well,' Bendtner said.  

'The players have showed they have the quality and are capable of doing what is required of them.'

Bendtner continued: 'I remember when Carlos first came here, he was 16 and showed good things during his trial.  

'Now he has come back and has been doing really well.  

'He works really hard and is a really good finisher.  

'All through pre-season we have been playing together and we combined really well.' 

Bendtner has already been involved in both the Barclays Premier League and Champions League this season, securing three starts.  

The young Dane is determined to make a lasting impression on the first team.  

'I will try to push on as much as possible and try to get into the squad more regularly - scoring two goals again can hopefully help with that,' he said.  

'We have good strikers here, but I am trying to do what I can do.  

'If I keep playing well, it is going to be hard for the boss to pick the team and that is what I want to make him do .'

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