Wenger expects big things from Wilshere

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Arsene Wenger feels Jack Wilshere has the potential to one day become an Arsenal legend like Liam Brady.

The 16-year-old scored his first senior goal as part of the youthful Gunners side - with an average age of just 19 - who ripped Sheffield United apart to win 6-0 in the Carling Cup at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

"He is a quiet boy, very determined and focused. For the rest, the talent is there. You have seen that again," said Wenger, who has entrusted the future of the club to former midfielder Brady - an FA Cup winner in 1979 and now head of the Gunners Academy.

"When you are a manager of a boy like that who has the talent, you are always cautious to put too much pressure on him and too high a level of expectation.

"I believe it is all in there, but also that I have a responsibility to nurture him and get him in the right development over the next two or three years, that will be vital.

"From 16 to 19 is a very important age for the development of a football player - and Jack has skipped a few classes!"

Wenger added: "People tell me he is a bit like Liam Brady, because he has good balance and change of direction. I believe later [in his career] he will be a central midfielder or behind the strikers."

Mexican striker Carlos Vela may be only 19, but Wenger feels this could be a breakthrough season for the pacy young forward, who chalked up a superb hat-trick against the Blades last night.

"Carlos is a player who has everything in his locker of a good striker," said Wenger, pleased to finally have the Central American back in the Arsenal fold following a couple of seasons on loan in Spain.

"He is agile, has a good first touch and very calm in front of goal. Also, he is clinical and quick finisher and I just think he is top class."

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Jack Wilshere
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