Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin has praised the impact that the youngsters at the club have had on the team.
The Spaniard only broke into the Arsenal first team himself last season, after having a loan spell at Watford.
Bellerin and 10 other players aged 23 or under featured for Arsenal last season and the 20-year-old told Arsenal Player that he is pleased with the progress he has made.
I learnt so many things about myself, I learnt how to deal with pressure. That was one of the biggest things.
When you get thrown into such big games at such a young age, it’s difficult to deal with.
The Gunners are known to have a difficult time when they face Stoke City but Bellerin believes that being substituted when Arsene Wenger’s side travelled to the Brittania Stadium was one of the biggest moments of his career so far.
I think the biggest thing was probably after being defeated by Stoke away and being substituted after 45 minutes, it would have been easier to be destroyed by the situation.
For me it was just something where the boss thought it was a better option to have another player in my position, I didn’t need to worry about it but just keep training hard and then show him in the next game that I can do better than how I did.
Despite having a number of youngsters come through the ranks at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger has a wealth of experience at his disposal with the likes of Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta.
The full-back, who has featured twice for the Spanish national side at U21 level believes that the experienced players have helped as much as they can.
I don’t think I could have been in a better group to have my breakthrough season. I had experienced players that helped me in every situation, then I had young players and I think we gave the team that fresh air.
I think players like Francis also had his breakthrough season last year so I was very happy to share those moments with him because I’ve known him for a long time as well.
It’s important to have that mix in the team, and to be part of that team, especially with how successful we were in the second half of the season, is something I feel really proud of.