Arsene Wenger believes that his successor at Arsenal, whoever that may be, will have been watching the Gunners' defeat to Manchester United on the weekend and will be encouraged by the strong performances of some of the young players.
Many more experienced Arsenal sides have travelled to Old Trafford and fared much worse than the young team Wenger fielded for his final visit to United. The Gunners rotated heavily in preparation for their Europa League semi final clash with Atletico Madrid and handed starts to a number of rising young stars.
These performers would have shown positives signs for Arsenal's future, according to the departing manager.
"My successor certainly will have watched this game today," said Wenger, as quoted by the Daily Star. "Hopefully, he will come to positive conclusions for the players.
"For them, it’s whether they can be part of the future of Arsenal Football Club. I think some of them have shown today that they can be, 100 per cent. I would say, personally, 100 per cent."
20-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles was awarded the Man of the Match for his excellent performance in the centre of midfield where he battled more than capably with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.
Wenger also handed to a debut to 20-year-old central defender Konstantinos Mavropanos. The young Greek was signed by Arsenal in the January window and did not shy away from the occasion and a demanding first start for the Gunners. United boss Jose Mourinho even reserved some praise for the young defender after the match.
Mavropanos also earned the approval of Wenger for his mature performance at Old Trafford. "Mavropanos, in training he has shown top quality but then you always have a question mark as long as you don't see that under pressure in a big game. Until that, you don't know.
Would love to see Mavropanos start all the remaining league matches, to see if he can be a regular next season.— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) April 29, 2018
"The big players do better in the competition than in training. They make a career, the others… we have many players at our level who do less well in competition than in training. That was the question mark and I think he did well. He surprised everybody by his quality today."
The search is ongoing to find Arsene Wenger's replacement. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was believed to be the front runner, but there a remains a strong claim for Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers to take the reigns. Former Gunners Patrick Vieira, Mikel Arteta, and Thierry Henry have also been linked with the Arsenal job.