By Rob Kelly

Chuks Aneke says going out on loan is a crucial step in his development as he bids to break into the Arsenal first team.

The 18-year-old midfielder spent three months with League One side Stevenage earlier this season, before returning to Arsenal and starring for the Reserves.

Aneke - speaking before last week’s move to Preston North End - said the experience at Broadhall Way proved invaluable to him, both on and off the pitch.

“I’m really pleased to have gone out on loan,” he told Arsenal.com. “It was good to see another side of football that I didn't really know.

“The game became a lot more serious, and I learned to be more professional in the way I prepare for matches.

“In the lower leagues they do things differently - that is not to say it is worse - and it is good to learn and try to improve your game. I can draw on the things I learned there to make me a better player.

“The style of play at Stevenage was different to what I am used to but I am 100 per cent happy that I went there. The people were lovely and I was welcomed with open arms.”

Keep up to date with Chuks’ progress at Preston in Loan Watch

Copyright 2014 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 27 Mar 2012