By Giuseppe Muro

Ignasi Miquel is hungry for more first-team opportunities after getting a taste of “where he wants to be”.

The highly-rated central defender linked up with Arsène Wenger’s squad for Cup games against both Leeds and Ipswich in January after injuries depleted Arsenal’s defensive options.

Miquel was the only recognised defender on the bench at Portman Road but, with Arsenal going behind, he didn’t get a chance to make his senior debut.

Nonetheless, now he knows what being part of the first-team set-up is all about, he is eager to get back there sooner rather than later.

“It was fabulous, I have to keep working and continue improving,” Miquel told “Obviously [that’s what you’re working for], everyone here wants to be [in the first team].

“Once you are there you can see how it works, I want to get there one day. It makes me want to keep working.

“I loved it. Of course [I was disappointed not to get on the pitch] but in both games we were losing 1-0 so I didn’t have the chance.”

It was the first time the cultured Catalan has made the step up from Reserve level and, with a few understandable nerves, Miquel was grateful for a bit of advice from a few ‘old timers’.

“To be fair I wasn’t too confident with myself because it’s different, it’s the next level,” added the 18-year-old.

“Carlos Vela and Cesc Fabregas helped me a lot, they talked to me and told me what happens and what was happening.

“Everyone has their space on the coach so you don’t know where to sit. I had to ask “Can I sit there? Can I sit there?” I was going to sit in somebody’s seat and they told me not to!”

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15 Feb 2011