Burgess praises loan star
Blackpool player Ben Burgess is certain that Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will have a successful career at Arsenal.
By Mark O'Brien
Last Updated: 04/11/09 11:07pm
Blackpool's Ben Burgess believes that his on-loan team-mate Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will eventually break into Arsenal's starting line-up.
The 18-year-old has been impressive during his temporary stay at Bloomfield Road and managed to get himself on the scoresheet in Blackpool's 3-3 draw with Doncaster on Saturday.
Burgess, who also hit the back of the net in that match, says that Emmanuel-Thomas' strike is typical of his performances in training.
"Jay's goal was brilliant, but I knew what he was going to do as soon as he picked the ball up. He's so strong and powerful and he goes past people like that in training all the time," he told skysports.com.
"Because he is already a man in terms of his physique I think people forget that he is still so young. He can be whatever he wants to be though, he's got that much ability."
Emmanuel-Thomas has yet been given a chance in the senior set-up at Arsenal, instead joining Ian Holloway's side on a short-term deal.
But Burgess does not think the fact he has not made an immediate impact at the Emirates will prevent the midfielder from one day becoming a key player at Arsenal.
"Nowadays it's only the likes of Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas who can step straight into the top teams, and reserve football's not good enough," he added.
"You need to see lads coping with the extra pressure of first-team football, against people who are playing for their livelihoods, to see if they've got what it takes.
"I think Jay certainly has and I fully expect him to play for Arsenal at some point. I can't really give him any higher compliment than that."