Arsene Wenger has revealed which Arsenal youngsters impressed him during Tuesday’s 2-0 EFL Cup fourth round clash with Reading at the Emirates.
The Frenchman named a much-changed side for the tie with Damian Martinez in goal and youngster Rob Holding and Carl Jenkinson in defence. Jeff Reine-Adelaide was handed a start in midfield with Lucas Perez up front.
Two goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Arsenal the victory, and a place in the quarter-finals, as the Gunners eased past their Championship opposition.
Speaking after the game Wenger revealed which members of his squad has impressed him the most as he now looks ahead to Saturday’s Premier League clash with bottom side Sunderland.
“It’s fantastic to see Carl [Jenkinson] back,” Wenger said according to the Express.
“He did well and had no fitness problems at all, which shows that he prepared well. I felt Rob [Holding] did well.
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“Ainsley [Maitland-Niles] played some nice passes and Jeff [Reine-Adelaide] had a good game too.”
Alex Iwobi was one of the few players who featured against Middlesbrough at the weekend to retain his place and Wenger has urged him to try to keep his composure in front of goal, as goalscorer Oxlade-Chamberlain has done.
“What we want from him [Iwobi] now is the finishing. He’s too nervous at the moment when he has the possibility to finish,” he added.
“The quality of his [Oxlade-Chamberlain] concentration is sharper and more determined. He’s worked a lot and it comes out everyday.”
While Oxlade-Chamberlain will deservedly take the headlines for Tuesday’s win, Wenger is right to highlight the performances of Jenkinson, Maitland Niles and Reine-Adelaide who all impressed and gave their first-team prospects a big boost.