Just 24 hours after Danny Welbeck’s successful homecoming at Old Trafford, Stephy Mavididi has the chance to mark a return to his own birthplace with a goal when the under-21s face Derby County at iPro Stadium.
Tall, athletic and hardworking, the 16-year-old striker is built in a similar mould to Welbeck and is a prolific finisher too, with 14 goals in 18 starts this season.
Mavididi has benefited from Chuba Akpom’s first-team call-up and the young striker is now featuring regularly for Steve Gatting’s under-21 side.
"I’m just grateful for the people who are close to me, telling me to keep my head up and continue what I do best"
“It’s been good to learn and develop my football with the under-21s,” Mavididi told Arsenal.com. “Now I’ve got to push on and get a regular spot with them.
“I’ve got more of a chance to get into the under-21s now that Chuba’s in the first team. He inspires us a lot. He talks to me, guides me, tells me what’s best for me to do when I play and just gives me lots of advice.
“I’m a striker so I always want the ball and the experienced players in the team are really good at giving me the ball at all the right times. You can’t get enough of it. That’s how they’re teaching me - they’re just giving me the ball.
“There’s always ups and downs in football. I started the season on a high, scoring most games but I’ve been through a goal drought which is the down side. I’m just grateful for the people who are close to me, telling me to keep my head up and continue what I do best. Now I think I’m getting back into the goals.”
Arsenal Under-21s play Derby County on Tuesday. Kick-off is 7pm at iPro Stadium. There will be live updates on the @Arsenal Twitter feed from 6.55pm.
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