Steve Bould has hailed Arsenal’s rising stars for their “magnificent” achievement in finishing fourth in the NextGen Series.
Terry Burton’s side knocked out holders Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow en route to the semi-finals, where they were eventually beaten by Chelsea in extra-time.
Bould - who took charge of many of the squad in his previous role as under-18s coach - says they should be proud of their efforts in the competition.
“They were unlucky,” he told Arsenal Player. “We watched the game against Chelsea live in the office and it was very tight. Chelsea have spent an awful lot of money on that team so for us to compete at that level with them was a magnificent job.
“I think in the third-place play-off game [against Sporting Lisbon], we tired a little bit. Perhaps the mental side of getting beaten by Chelsea affected the lads but in the end it's about having good players and I think there's another crop of good players coming through at the Club.”
Arsène Wenger said last week that he feels “two, three or four players have a chance to play for Arsenal”, and Bould agrees it is a real possibility.
“That's what it's about,” he said. “The difference between [the first team] is winning and in the youth teams, it's about developing players for first-team football to win games.
“Winning helps and is part of the job but lower down, you need to produce players who can play in our first team. Looking at that NextGen group, there may be four or five players knocking on the door in the near future.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Apr 2013