In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words. This week we spoke to defender Julio Pleguezuelo.

I was born in Barcelona, I played football for Barcelona and I am now an Arsenal player.

I have trained quite a lot with the first team this year. In training games I have mostly played as a centre back but as a right back and as a holding midfielder too. I have had to play against Theo and Olivier and they both present very different challenges and you have to play against them differently.

We are currently top of the under-21 league and I believe we can go on to win it. I have not yet travelled with the first team and my hope is that I will do so between now and the end of the season

Julio Pleguezuelo

I am quite quick, but I doubt there is any striker quicker than Theo. You have to give yourself a little more room and try and step in and take the ball before he gets it and try and read the pass quicker.

If you don’t, he is through and past you. Olivier is very strong and good in the air. It is more of physical battle and he can grind down a defender as he keeps going. He makes good runs too that bring in other players and any defence has to be at its best to cope.

I really benefit from training with the first team because the pace and technical level is so much higher. This year has been a very good year for me after the injuries I have suffered in previous seasons.

I have not missed a game or training and so I have been able to develop and improve. I have done a lot of work in the gym and I feel stronger and faster and better prepared to prevent injuries. Because I am playing and training regularly I have improved my technical ability.

We are currently top of the under-21 league and I believe we can go on to win it. I have not yet travelled with the first team and my hope is that I will do so between now and the end of the season and have a good pre-season and hopefully go out on loan next year to gain first-team experience.

The intensity of La Liga and the Premier League is very different. The Premier League is more competitive in that any team can beat any other on its day. The league is between four teams and that is it, but this season in the Premier League it has demonstrated how wide open it can be. Arsenal have to be up for every game and play with a high level to make sure they win all the points.

Julio Pleguezuelo and Krystian Bielik
Julio Pleguezuelo and Krystian Bielik

Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
26 Feb 2016