By Nik Brumsack

Arsène Wenger says he was happy with Jernade Meade’s full debut in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat against Olympiacos, and believes the 20-year-old has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Ashley Cole and Kieran Gibbs.

Meade delivered a composed performance on his first start for the Club in Greece and, like Cole and Gibbs before him, has been transformed into a full back after starting out on the wing.

Wenger believes the defender has a promising career ahead of him.

“I think he had a good first half,” the manager told Arsenal Player.

“When you come from the under-21s, it’s a massive change in intensity. He did very well. I’m pleased with his attitude and the fact that he was not fazed. I remember the first ball he got, he cut inside when he was closed down and played the ball. You think there’s something there.”

Meade is one of the shortest players in the squad but that is not a concern for Wenger.

“I would like them a bit taller, because in England you have to head the ball as well,” he said. “But I like the tenacious side, the technical qualities, and the fact they go forward is vital in the modern game.”

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8 Dec 2012