By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger believes a number of Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup stars will be able to make the first-team grade ‘very quickly’.

Jack Wilshere, a mainstay of this season’s Youth Cup midfield, broke a string of first-team records earlier this season and signed a long-term professional contract with the Club in January. On the evidence of this season’s Under-18s performances, Wenger doesn’t think Wilshere’s peers are too far behind.

Steve Bould’s boys have been rampant in the Cup this season and they host Liverpool in the Final’s first-leg on Friday. In the previous six rounds, the Gunners have notched 19 times and conceded only six.

Youth-team trio Emmanuel Frimpong, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Francis Coquelin were all rewarded with a place on the bench for the Premier League clash with Portsmouth and Wenger explained why their involvement could soon become commonplace.

Jack Wilshere is already with us in the first team but there are plenty of players in there who could very quickly be in our first-team squad,” the manager said.

“I have seen this team a few times and I like not only their quality but their attitude as well.

“There is something in there that shows they have personality and not only talent. I believe they will win.

“They are still a bit young but not for one player could you say ‘you will not make a career’.”

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19 May 2009