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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 23, 2008

Wenger tips Ramsey to make it to the top

Arsene Wenger is in no doubt that Aaron Ramsey can go on to become an Arsenal great.

The Wales Under-21 international arrived at the Emirates Stadium in a £5million deal from Cardiff during the summer, having turned down the chance to join Manchester United.

Wenger showed great faith in the youngster when he was handed a full debut in the Champions League qualifier against FC Twente in Holland following an injury to Cesc Fabregas.

The 17-year-old, who also has two substitute appearances, is in line to get another chance to impress as part of a young Arsenal side for tonight's Carling Cup clash against Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger has been impressed by the progress of the Welsh teenager.

"I am very, very happy with him and I believe he will be a tremendous player for Arsenal,'' said Wenger. "He has already improved some areas where you want to improve when you are seventeen-and-a-half years old.

"Aaron is a serious boy, he knows what he wants, is highly committed and for me he has all that is needed to become a good player - not only a good player, but a great player for the club.

"You want to take a little bit of time, this is Arsenal, we are top of the Premier League and you want to give the players the needed development when they come in under such a pressure to perform. He can do that.''

Wenger is ready to give his first-team regulars a rest tonight against the Championship side.

Last season, a similar policy saw the Gunners reach the Carling Cup semi-finals, before they lost over two legs to arch-rivals Tottenham, who went on to win the competition at Wembley.

The Arsenal manager has no doubts the likes of Wales Under-21 midfielder Ramsey, 16-year-old Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, reserve team captain Gavin Hoyte and first-year scholar Emmanuel Frimpong can make a lasting impression.

Wilshere has already made his Premier League debut - following in the footsteps of Fabregas to become the youngest player to do so in the club's history.

Wenger said: "I believe the expectations are very high and rightly so. What is most important at such an age is that people believe in you, we believe in him.

"You have to give the boys a chance and be patient with them when they don't perform how you expect them to. When that happens you must continue to develop them and work well in training.''

The Arsenal manager is looking forward to seeing Arsenal's next generation in action against the Blades.

"We have to keep our policy because we lost players in this competition that harmed our chances in the Champions League and the Premier League,'' he said. "Never, no matter how far we go, we will keep our policy. Even in a stricter way than before.''

Wenger added: "It is a good opportunity always for us to develop what we feel is an important asset in our policy and give some chance to young players.

"It's a very interesting period as well to discover our young players for our fans. We have great experiences in this Carling Cup and there is always a great excitement for the young players to play.''

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