By Giuseppe Muro
Leadership, influence and a winning mentality are all things Chuks Aneke is trying to instill into his game, and who better to learn from than former Club captain Patrick Vieira?
The 17-year-old has shone for the Reserves this season, and that in part could be down to his reading of the self-titled autobiography written by the Frenchman.
Though a more attack-minded player than Vieira, Aneke is keen to be like him in everything he does. He wants the book to help improve him both as a player and also on a personal level away from the pitch.
“He was such a winner and I want to take that from the book and put it into my game. I want to be a winner like him,” Aneke told Arsenal.com.
“I’ve learnt a lot [from reading the book]. To try and win at everything I do on and off the pitch. To try and lead and be more of a presence on the pitch because he was such a presence when he was on the field.
“I look up to him very much. He was the captain of this Club and he won titles. That’s something I aspire to. He was one of my idols as a kid."
Though Aneke joined the Club in 2001, Vieira had left for Juventus by the time he was old enough to mingle with the senior players. This means the duo’s only meeting came when a youthful Aneke waited outside Highbury for a glimpse at his hero.
“I met him once when I was about eight or nine. He won’t remember, I don’t even really remember myself,” he laughed.
“I saw him after a game against Sunderland at the old Highbury and that was the only time I met him. He walked straight past me – it was very daunting to see someone like him at that age.”Copyright 2015 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