By Chris Harris
Nacer Barazite is hoping to follow in some illustrious footsteps by becoming the next Dutchman to break into Arsenal's first team.
From Glenn Helder and Dennis Bergkamp to Marc Overmars and Robin van Persie, Holland's finest have graced Highbury and Emirates Stadium since 1995. And on the evidence of this season, Barazite could be next.
The 17-year-old has been one of Arsenal's most impressive performers in the Reserve League and earned a senior debut in the Carling Cup victory at Blackburn in December. Barazite's pleasure was mixed with pain - he dislocated his shoulder after coming on as a substitute at Ewood Park - but he hopes that fleeting appearance will be the first of many first-team opportunities.
"My targets for next season are to gain more and more experience in the first team, some more Carling Cup games and see where we go from there," Barazite told Arsenal.com.
"I am definitely a better player now. Technically I am better and overall I think that I have improved a lot."
Like Bergkamp, Barazite prefers to operate just behind the main striker where he can drop deep to gain possession and either pick out passes or try his luck on goal. The Arsenal youngster knows he could do worse than watch and learn from the Dutchmen who have gone before him.
"I can take everything from them," he said. "All the Dutch players who have been at Arsenal are fantastic players. You can take from every side of their game and learn how to play. I hope I can be one of those.
"Unfortunately I never managed to speak with Dennis Bergkamp because I arrived when he was leaving. Maybe in the future I can speak with him. But Robin van Persie is quite a good friend of mine, he talks with me a lot and is a good help to me.
"Hopefully I can be as good as him one day."Copyright 2013 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 22 Apr 2008