Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has spoken in glowing terms about the next batch of young players to come through the North Londoners' academy ahead of the Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham United.
The Frenchman has turned to a handful of teenagers during the 2017-18 campaign, with the likes of Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Josh Dasilva all making their first team bows with aplomb this term.
Wenger is set to turn to his young proteges when West Ham visit The Emirates Stadium in the last eight of the EFL Cup on Tuesday (19 December) and says he turned down offers for a handful of players during the summer as he believes they have future at Arsenal.
"It's a very exciting bunch of young players," Wenger said, according to The Evening Standard. "I made the decision a few months ago to try and keep them at the club because I believe they all have futures at the club.
"I am convinced as well, but it is very important for Arsenal to continue giving chances to young players we educate here.
"For example on Saturday, we had four players who have been developed in our academy – Alex Iwobi, Jack Wilshere, Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
"That shows you that our level you have not many teams who can show up with that. That's a positive sign. We have some good young players coming through as well, behind them."
Theo Walcott is also set to start the visit of the Hammers having recovered from a groin injury which forced him to miss last week's Premier League draw with David Moyes' side and the weekend win over Newcastle United.
David Ospina, Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding – who have been deployed almost exclusively in Arsenal's domestic cup and Europa League games – are also likely to be recalled as Wenger prepares to ring the changes.
"We have so many quality players who have not started on Saturday but you cannot say that you prefer to play a player who has played three games in six days to a guy who is at the same level and is completely fresh," the manager added.
"The players who will start are basically all international players, so that's why I think it's a decision that makes sense and you have as well to show the trust and the confidence that we have in the players.
"That's where I come back to. We've got a big squad of top quality and the best way to show that is to use all our squad.
"I trust this team, but I can talk and talk and talk. It's about what we do tomorrow on the pitch and how much we want it."