"Serge Gnabry is a great hope for the future, I rate him highly." These are the words of Arsene Wenger just days before the 17-year-old winger made his senior debut in the 6-1 Capital One Cup victory over Coventry.
Signed from German side Stuttgart at the start of last season, Gnabry would not have believed that he would be pushing for first team football so quickly with the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho and Lukas Podolski all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Yet the teenager has clearly made a big impression on everyone at the club and was duly rewarded with his Premier League debut on Saturday. Despite being unable to influence the outcome as Arsenal suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Norwich, Wenger was keen to praise the impact of the winger.
"I think he's one of the guys who was dangerous when he came on," said Wenger. "He was incisive. He looked very interesting when he came on."
Wenger has never been afraid to introduce his academy players into the cauldron that is Premier League football. If you are good enough then you will be handed the opportunity to stake a claim for regular appearances in the first team.
Gnabry would almost certainly have believed it would be a difficult task with the calibre of internationals currently employed in the wide areas by Arsenal. Especially with Wenger putting the winger in the same class as Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"He is in the category of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott - guys who have great power, great pace and good dribbling skills," Wenger told the clubs website. "He has goalscoring potential and good vision as well for the final ball. He can play centrally behind the striker or on the flanks."
Gnabry has had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his talent since moving to the Emirates. Last season he scored six goals in eight games for the Under-18 side, while this year he has featured in the Under-21 side and in NextGen competition.
He was one of the stand out players as Arsenal beat Marseille in their first NextGen fixture this season and proved just why the Gunners were so keen to sign him to a professional contract last summer.
The German youth international has also managed to catch the eye of the first team squad, with defender Johan Djourou picking the winger out as one of the players to watch.
"We have a lot of great young guys coming through and one of them is Serge Gnabry," the defender told the clubs website.
"He's a very good young player, really tricky, and someone with a big future ahead of him. He has all the attributes to become a very good winger or No 10, and has the right character too."
With searing pace and great technical ability, he has all the attributes needed to excel as an attacker in the Premier League. Arsenal fans have already seen a glimpse of the talent he possesses and will be hoping he can follow in the footsteps of Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs by becoming a first team regular.