MX23RW : Saturday, December 7 09:36:34| >> :600:34637601:34637601:

Arsenal youngsters revelling in first-team action

Emile Smith Rowe and Julio Pleguezuelo both impressed in the win over Blackpool.

Julio Pleguezuelo made his Arsenal debut in their Carabao Cup fourth-round win over Blackpool – and now the young defender is targeting an appearance in the north London derby.

A former Barcelona academy player, Pleguezuelo has been with the Gunners since 2013 and was handed his first senior appearance by Unai Emery on Wednesday night.

Arsenal advanced as goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner and Emile Smith Rowe set them on their way, before Matteo Guendouzi’s red card allowed Blackpool to get a foothold on the game.

Paudie O’Connor halved the deficit by heading home a corner before the Leeds loanee was also sent off late on.

Pleguezuelo came in as one of nine changes made by Emery from the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace – the only game his side has not won in their last 13 matches.

The 21-year-old looked calm and assured and, after being drawn against local rivals Tottenham in the quarter-finals, Pleguezuelo is hungry to be involved once again.

Asked if his debut was a moment he had been waiting for, Pleguezuelo replied: “It’s been quite a long time since I joined the club, six years to be fair.

“I couldn’t be any happier, I’m buzzing. I tried to stay calm. I knew this was a very big chance for me. It doesn’t happen every day that you play for Arsenal’s first team.

“I just tried to do everything simple and play for the result. I’d love to play that (the north London derby). As I said, I have to keep working and see if I can get another shot.”

Emery has been keen to look at the youngsters at his disposal since replacing Arsene Wenger in the summer, with Smith Rowe the stand-out so far.

Pleguezuelo revealed he is in regular contact with the head coach and that his fellow Spaniard has been a man of his word.

“I have had a few chats with him during the season,” Pleguezuelo added.

“He told me to keep working as I had with the under-23s and my chance would come. Fair play to him, he gave me that chance. I’m so happy and thank him very much for that.

“This year we have a very good under-23 squad and it’s good to see those players can still make it to the first-team and get some minutes. It should be an inspiration for everyone.”

Blackpool return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday as they host Bristol Rovers, with manager Terry McPhillips wanting to use the Arsenal display as a yardstick moving forwards.

“It should hold us in good stead now, I’m hoping,” he said.

“The big game is now Saturday against Bristol Rovers. We’ve got a long journey back so we will rest and recover, be off tomorrow and be back in on Friday for a big game.”

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '38a834d1-42db-4cf3-acbc-e83710bcc2eb');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Arsenal youngsters revelling in first-team action'});

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Arsenal

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Premiership
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swiss Super League
Norwegian Eliteserien Playoffs
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
NIFL Premiership
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Premier League 2 - Div 2
Argentine Primera Division
Australian A-League
International Friendlies
European Champions Cup
European Challenge Cup
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool15141037142343
2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City15102343172632
4Chelsea159243021929
5Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd155642318521
7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs155552523220
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle155461522-719
12Burnley155372124-318
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
14Bournemouth154471821-316
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
16Aston Villa154382224-215
17Southampton154381733-1615
18Everton154291627-1114
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611
20Watford15159930-218

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!