By Nik Brumsack

Arsène Wenger believes the NextGen Series will act as a crucial step in the development of the Club's most promising young players

Arsenal are one of nine sides making their debut in the under-19 European competition this season, and beat Marseille in their opening game before losing to Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Wenger believes the tournament - which has a similar structure to the Champions League - offers a major opportunity for every member of Terry Burton's squad.

“Having enquired a little bit across Europe with other managers, everyone is absolutely convinced that it is the best thing that has happened to our younger generation,” Wenger told the Official Matchday Programme.

“It’s good to see our young boys confronted with players of the same age that are the best in Europe, and to see how good we will be in the future. We lost in Greece so it’s important to analyse that.”

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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 15 Sep 2012