Young Professional
Born: 24/05/1993
Position: Centre midfield/right back

Nico has had quite some year. The versatile midfielder made his first-team debut in last season's Carling Cup victory over Bolton, featured in the FA Cup against Leeds and then found himself marking Manchester United winger Nani on his first appearance in the Premier League.

"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."

Nico signed a contract extension in August, and while the offer of the new deal was good news, he is already motivated on securing the next. “What it means to me is that the manager has shown belief in me and it gives me even more time to show what I can do and work with the coaches and players here to improve even more to achieve a new contract with the Club I have always supported.

"The coaches are fantastic and their encouragement is invaluable, but there are top players around for me to learn from and take what I see in their game and adopt it into mine, or refine what I do having learnt from them.”

The youngster has played for England at youth level, but is eligible to also play for Cyprus and China, as his father’s family hail from the mediterranean island and his mother’s heritage is Chinese. Nico is non-committal, “I haven’t even thought about that,” he explains: “It’s not a decision to be made until I have to make it and to represent any of those countries that are close to me will be an honour.”

Despite his China connection, Nico admits to knowing little about Asian football, aside from what he has seen at the Emirates and in training: “I have of course seen Ju Young Park and Ryo up close and both are very good technical players with lots of energy. From what I can see, Asian football is on the rise."


What does Arsenal mean to you?
It means so much, it’s an honour to play for them

What would your dream job be, if you weren’t a footballer?
A singer

Who was the last person you called on your mobile phone?
My dad

What is the most played song on your iPod?
Drake - Crew Love

What was the last film you saw?

What is your favourite website?

What is your favourite computer game at the moment?
Call of Duty MW3

What car do you drive?
Ford Fiesta Zetec

What is your favourite gadget?
My iPad

What’s your favourite Rob the Chef dish?
Shepherds pie

Apart from football, what sport are you best at?

What question would you like to ask one of your team-mates if you were an interviewer?
Do you play football for the money or the love of the game?

Which person in the world would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Meagan Good

What team did you support as a boy?

Who is the most famous player you have swapped shirts with?
I haven’t yet!

What talent would you most like to have?
To be able to sing

Who is the greatest player in your position of all time?
Claude Makelele

Whose the best act you have seen live?
J Cole

What is your favourite place in the world?

Tell us something we may not know about you?
I am qualified to play internationally for China, Cyprus and England

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
29 Aug 2012