Gunners starlet Nico Yennaris claims he can have the same impact as Frimpong and Miquel and stake a claim for first team action, but first is keen to go on loan to gain experience.
The versatile midfielder made his debut at right back for Arsenal in October’s 2-1 Carling Cup victory over Bolton at the Emirates, and he is eager for more opportunities after a successful experience.
Yennaris has seen some of his friends rise to the challenge of Arsenal’s first team, with Ignasi Miquel and Emmanuel Frimpong becoming regulars in the first team squad for recent fixtures. Their progress has been inspirational to the England U17, U18 & U19 international
their chance in the Arsenal first team over the past 12 months, and he admits their progress has inspired him.
Yennaris told Arsenal.com:
It was unbelievable to have the chance to play [in that game]. I was pleased with my performance, I thought I did well at right back.
Obviously I’d like to push on with the first team in 2012, and if I can’t because I’m not ready, then hopefully I will go out on loan and get some game experience.
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I was nearly going out on loan before the window closed in November, and the boss [Arsène Wenger] spoke to me and said I need to start playing a man’s game and get experience.
Working on the weaker aspects of my game will help me, but playing and experiencing men’s football and the level you have to step up to will be a big help. I’m sure going on loan will help me in the long run.
[On Miquel & Frimpong] It’s good to see them play because we know that the manager will give us a chance [too]. We have seen Frimpong do it, we have seen Iggy do it, so why not me?
A lot of young players seem to get a chance at Arsenal. Whether they make it here or carry on their career somewhere else, they have been given a chance. That is good for a young player to see.
The 18 year old is an extremely versatile midfielder that has the ability to play in defence and across the centre of the park, and even though he recently signed a contract extension it will be very difficult for him to gain first team experience at Arsenal.
The Gunners have Coquelin and Frimpong pushing for midfield positions already, not to mention Wilshere, Diaby, Rosicky and Benayoun challenging the established Song, Arteta and Ramsey trio. Yennaris is more likely to find himself playing as a right back with the Gunners, so a loan move away would be best suited for him at the tail end of January after the two FA cup matches.