By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger has learnt a great deal about the Club’s rising stars due to their involvement in the NextGen Series.

Terry Burton’s side are bottom of Group Six of the elite European youth competition, but will qualify for the knockout stages if they beat Athletic Bilbao at Underhill on Thursday.

Wenger believes the tournament has been hugely beneficial for the development of young players such as Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld and Martin Angha.

“They face quality and they face pressure,” the manager said. “That’s what their future is if they stay at Arsenal Football Club.

“First of all, it’s an interesting competition because they play against different kinds of football. For us, it is absolutely fantastic to see our players in these circumstances.

“We learn a lot about our players and about their potential. I’ve seen the home games when I can and of course I get the reports about the away games.

“They’ve done quite well away from home because they only lost against Marseille in the last minute. We drew 0-0 at Bilbao and we lost 2-0 in Greece [to Olympiacos].

“We now have the chance to qualify against Bilbao and that will be fantastic.”

  • Entry to Thursday's game against Athletic Bilbao is FREE. Kick off is at 7pm and we will have live tweets on the @ArsenalLive account from 6.55pm (UK time)
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 5 Dec 2012