Arsenal Academy graduate set for first team chance v Spurs

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Arsenal midfielder Jay Emmanuel-Thomas looks set to receive a first team opportunity in the Carling Cup against Spurs tonight.

The 19-year-old Arsenal Academy graduate impressed whilst out on loan in the Championship last season, and also with the reserves in the current campaign after deciding to stay and fight for a place at the Emirates.

A box-to-box player who can also play as a striker when required, Emmanuel-Thomas scored five goals in 13 games for Doncaster Rovers following a brief spell with Blackpool last term.

After involvement in pre-season activity in north London, the player has shone for Neil Banfield's Arsenal reserve side, a point proved with his equaliser against a strong Manchester City second string last weekend.

"Jay has class. Class to give the ball, class to finish, class to pass people," said Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

"I believe he can play against anybody and score goals but then again you must earn your place and on a daily basis he must show you have the hunger and quality."

Frenchman Wenger is set to stick with his policy of playing a young side in the Carling Cup, with Arsenal poised to play several academy and reserve players against Spurs

Emmanuel-Thomas is tipped to be one of those, and will look to make a case for more regular first team action at Arsenal following the hamstring injury picked up by skipper Cesc Fabregas.

"He has the needed quality without a doubt. I am confident that if he gets an opportunity he will show that," Wenger concluded.

The manager clearly has confidence in the player, who will hope to prove his Arsenal ability to a wider TV audience in tonight's clash.

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