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Only a matter of time before Wenger's young guns storm Premiership

PUBLISHED: 09:34 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:36 07 September 2010

BY JEM MAIDMENT Arsenal swept into the quarter finals of the Carling Cup on Tuesday night with Arsene Wenger admitting it is only a matter of time before some of his youngsters force their way into the first team on a permanent basis. A Gunners side with an average of ju

Arsenal swept into the quarter finals of the Carling Cup on Tuesday night with Arsene Wenger admitting it is only a matter of time before some of his youngsters force their way into the first team on a permanent basis.

A Gunners side with an average of just under 20 destroyed a near full-strength Wigan Athletic 3-0 in front of a bumper crowd of 59,665 at the Emirates, with Jay Simpson netting twice and Carlos Vela scoring with an exquisite chip. It followed a 6-0 hammering of Sheffield United in the previous round.

Jack Wilshere, in particular, sparkled with a mesmerising midfield display and Wenger conceded the 16-year-old is ready for Premier League action alongside Cesc Fabregas, another player who made an impact at as a 16-year-old in the same competition back in 2003.

"Jack is more a dribbler and Cesc is more of a passer," said Wenger.

"You can imagine the two of them together playing very good football. I think Jack has the same potential as Cesc and, like him, he has the character.

"He isn't frightened of going into the challenge, he likes the physical game and is not fazed by anything; he takes the ball no matter where he is and no matter who he plays against - it is natural for him."

Arsenal will find out their quarter-final opponents when the draw is made on Sky Sports this Saturday lunchtime and Wenger has vowed to stick with the kids no matter what.

"I see them in training and they are good but when you turn up against a Premier League side, that is a different challenge; now I know they can turn up and produce," he added.

Latics boss Steve Bruce was left open-mouthed: "They (Arsenal) were frightening. They created more chances against us than any other team this season - we had our backsides kicked."

Meanwhile, Wenger expects Tomas Rosicky to return to first team action by January after the Czech playmaker had surgery on a long-standing tendon injury in Germany this week.

Rosicky has been out of the side since January but Wenger said: "The situation looks very positive. They have taken a lot of scar tissue out of his leg and the vibes from the surgeon are very positive. I think he can return in six to eight weeks.


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