Jul 13, 2017 at 11am UK at ​Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
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Arsene Wenger hails Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock impact

Wenger hails Nelson, Willock impact
© SilverHub
Arsene Wenger heaps praise on Arsenal youngsters Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, admitting that both players are "very close to the first team".

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged youngsters Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock to build on their impressive displays against Sydney FC and force their way into his first-team plans ahead of the new campaign.

The Gunners carved out a 2-0 victory over the Australian champions in front of 80,000 spectators at the ANZ Stadium on Thursday morning to get their pre-season campaign off to a positive start.

Alexandre Lacazette's debut goal for the club captured all the headlines, while Per Mertesacker was also on the scoresheet with an audacious flick, but Nelson and Willock particularly stood out during their first senior appearances.

Wenger believes that the future looks bright for both Arsenal and English football in general, with the academy graduates expected to be given further chances to impress this summer.

"It's very promising," he told reporters. "In England people are worried but when you look at results of youth teams over the summer and players you saw tonight the future is much more positive than people expect.

"It's a bit early but what they have shown tonight is they have a chance to be very, very close to the first team."

Arsenal return to action on Saturday morning when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers at the same venue.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on February 28, 2016
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