Thomas Eisfeld

Arsene Wenger hailed young midfielder Thomas Eisfeld following his performance for Arsenal against West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup and compared him to club legend Robert Pires.

The Borussia Dortmund product, who joined the Gunners' academy in January 2012, made his first start for the Gunners' senior side at the Hawthorns on Wednesday. The 20-year-old played in the no.10 role and scored the opener from a Nicklas Bendtner through ball, to give his side the lead just after the hour mark.

Eisfeld was hooked by Wenger towards the end of normal time before Arsenal snuck through to the next round with a 4-3 victory on penalties. However, the youngster had impressed pundits and fans with his performance against a strong Baggies side.

"He is a Pires type. He appears to be in the box without being noisy and appearing suddenly. When he is there, he finishes well. He has that kind of quality that some midfielders have - not many," Wenger pointed out.

"They have the timing to get in dangerous situations. When they have those dangerous situations, they are like snakes. They bite you to death because they don't miss their first touch. He's cool enough in front of goal and he finishes well," the Frenchman added.

Wenger also showered praise on winger Serge Gnabry, who started Arsenal's last two matches, owing to the unavailability of wide men Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the versatile Santi Cazorla.

"To play in the Premier League today is very seldom for a young boy who is 18 years old. But he has the body to cope with the duels and he is ready to do that. We have some other boys who have the technical quality to play in the Premier League but are not resistant enough yet to compete physically, but he [Gnabry] has that," the manager stressed.

"It is a good opportunity for him. I haven't decided if I will start him tomorrow [at Swansea City] but he of course has a good opportunity. He is still a young boy but he shows that he has quality," Wenger said.