BIOGRAPHY
Born: 22.07.1994
Place of birth: Zurich, Switzerland
Position: Centre back

By Lambros Lambrou

Martin is considered to be one of the most improved players at the Club, which is praise indeed considering the high level of his starting point. The former Swiss Under-16s captain was courted by many of Europe’s top sides before he decided to join Arsenal, the club he supports: “I feel I have improved a lot since coming to Arsenal," he said. "I do not believe there is anywhere better for a young player to become the best they can be. I can see the improvements I have made, particularly technically and physically. I want to keep on working hard so that I can give myself a chance of playing for the first team.”

Martin has not yet featured in Arsène Wenger’s first team, but has often trained with the first-team squad. “One thing I really enjoyed was playing alongside Johan Djourou in central defence," he said. "He is one of my country’s most celebrated players and it was good to be his partner in the middle. Hopefully one day we can do that for the Arsenal first team and Switzerland." The youngster who has also built up a good relationship with another of Arsenal’s first-team centre backs. “Per Mertesacker has been a good friend to me," said Angha. "We both speak German and I am mostly with him whenever I am with the first team. He gives me a lot of help and advice, which is invaluable to me as a first-team player.”

The variety of languages spoken by the players reflects the internationalisation of the game. More interesting is a new trend - German is the latest language to follow French and Spanish as the most popular foreign language spoken at the training ground. Wenger is a fluent speaker, as of course is Tomas Rosicky. But the introduction of Mertesacker last summer and Thomas Eisfeld last January means that Arsenal possibly have more German speakers in the squad than any club outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“There is also Serge Gnabry, he is my closest friend at the Club. We are always together and spend a lot of time together away from the training ground. I have known Serge since we were 13 when we used to play against each other. He is a really nice guy, as is Thomas Eisfeld. He has found it a bit harder because of injuries, but I try to be there for him to help as much as I can. Per helps me, and I think it is normal for me to help Serge and Thomas if I can. The language factor helps but if they need anything I am there and I know if I needed their help they would be there for me.”

THEN…

Teams you played for before Arsenal?
Grasshoppers Zurich, FC Zurich

Best piece of advice?
Keep working hard and never give up

Best moment in football before joining Arsenal?
Playing and scoring against Arsenal

Team supported as a boy?
Arsenal

Pretended to be in playground?
Thierry Henry, Ronaldo

Other sports good at at school?
Ice Hockey

Favourite kids’ TV show?
Pokemon

Favourite teacher?
Andrea Burgmeier

Interested in signing you before Arsenal?
Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Manchester United

NOW...

Favourite item of clothing?
My shoes

Favourite car in the world?
Aston Martin

Current Arsenal role model?
Johan Djourou

Best thing about being at Arsenal’s academy?
You get the chance to train on an amazing training ground every day

Three words to describe you as a player?
Generous, fast, good...

Three words to describe you as a person?
Humble, happy, nice guy

Two people you follow on Twitter?
Gerard Pique, Cristiano Ronaldo

Favourite comedian?
Oliver Pocher

Most talented team-mate?
Chuks Aneke

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 3 Sep 2012