By Chris Harris

Nico Yennaris has not always considered right back as his natural position - but he admits the role suits him well.

The 18-year-old has been thrust into the spotlight this month after making his FA Cup debut as a substitute against Leeds United and then coming off the bench halfway through last weekend's clash with Manchester United.

Yennaris looked perfectly at home on the flank and could earn his first FA cup start when Aston Villa visit Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Not bad for a teenager who spent much of his academy life elsewhere on the pitch.

"When I came to Arsenal I was actually a striker and then I went to right back," Yennaris told Arsenal Player. 

"Through the ranks I was playing at centre back and then in central midfield but I probably wasn't tall enough for centre back. It was then between playing in midfield and at right back and I've just adapted to the game. I've known the position for a few years.

"I think I am [suited to playing there] because obviously I wasn't the tallest to be playing at centre back and I'm quite quick. I can move up and down the line quite well so I think I probably am quite suited, yes."

That's just as well considering the identity of his last opponent - Nani. The Manchester United winger can give the most experienced right back a torrid time but Yennaris thinks he coped quite well last weekend.

"My main focus was to just keep Nani quiet and get him down the line away from goal, and I thought I did alright," he said.

"He's very tricky. When you think you might be able to get the ball, he's taken it and he's going. You have to be patient against some players like that and think of it two ways - either get tight and don't let him turn or be patient and not dive in. 

"But overall I'm delighted at the moment, I can't be any happier. I've made my Premier League debut, played in the Carling Cup and the FA Cup so I can't complain."

Watch the full interview with Nico on Arsenal Player now. 

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
26 Jan 2012