Arsène Wenger has hailed Chris Willock’s potential after the teenage winger caught the eye against Boreham Wood on Saturday.
The 16-year-old was a surprise inclusion in the starting XI at Meadow Park but delivered an impressive performance against the Conference South side.
Wenger - who gave a number of youngsters a chance to stake their claim - said Willock showed a lot of promising signs.
Of course it's natural that he lacks a bit of power at that age but when he gets that he will be a very interesting playerWenger on Willock
“He's a very young boy and I wanted him to have a run out with the big boys to see how much he has to do,” the manager told Arsenal Player.
“But technically and tactically he integrated very well. Of course it's natural that he lacks a bit of power at that age but when he gets that he will be a very interesting player.
“[The game] was a good opportunity to give everyone 45 minutes. After the first two weeks of training, technically it was not as good. We lacked a bit of incisiveness in our runs and passes which is normal because we are not ready and it was very hot.
“It is more to see who can integrate into the first team from the youth team - who is the closest to the first team. For the first-team players who are used to playing in the Premier League, it was to see how fit they are and how much more work they need.”
Wenger was also delighted to see Abou Diaby get 45 minutes under his belt as he aims to prove his fitness ahead of the new season.
“You wish that he just gets through the game, which happened here - I'm very pleased with that,” he said.
“If you get a fit Diaby back, it will be a major asset for our team. At the moment we go step-by-step and he came through this game so that's very good news for us.”Copyright 2014 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 21 Jul 2014