Arsène Wenger has spoken of his delight at seeing Vito Mannone's match-winning display for Sunderland against Manchester United on Wednesday night.

The former Gunner emerged as the hero when he saved two penalties in the shoot-out at the end of their Capital One Cup semi-final tie.

I saw at that time that there was something special in him and it's coming out now.

Arsène Wenger

Wenger was pleased to see the Italian goalkeeper starting to fulfil the rich potential that he spotted when he was a teenager.

“I'm very happy because it reminded me of when I saw him that I kept him here when he was 16 years of age and [gave him] a trial with the first team,” said the Arsenal manager.

“I saw at that time that there was something special in him and it's coming out now.

“I'm very pleased for him because he was always behind the No 1 keeper here but he always wanted to play and it's great to see him develop as he does at the moment.”

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 Rob Kelly 23 Jan 2014