By Giuseppe Muro

Ignasi Miquel says winning the European Under-19 Championships with Spain over the summer has renewed his confidence to push for greater involvement in the Arsenal first-team this season.

The 19-year-old defender was ever-present for his country during the tournament in Romania and, upon returning to north London ahead of the new campaign, was drafted straight into Arsène Wenger’s squad for Saturday’s friendly against Benfica.

Miquel enjoyed a breakthrough season last term, making his debut against Leyton Orient while playing an active role with the senior side, and has set his sights on making further inroads during 2011/12.

“Coming back from winning it is really big and I am coming back confident,” he told

“Winning the World Cup and being called up for the first-team without training with them – I am really happy. I go back now trying to improve myself to become better.

“The boss has said congratulations to me but now I have to forget about it and focus on Arsenal.

“I obviously want to get more minutes with the first-team. I know it’s going to be hard but I’m going to fight for it.”

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9 Aug 2011