Pre-Match Report

U-18: Swansea v Arsenal Preview

Chris Willock scores against West Ham Under-21s

By Lloyd Webb

This year has kicked off with a bang for Chris Willock.

The teenager was brought to the attention of Arsenal fans when Arsene Wenger named him on his bench for the FA Cup third-round tie against Sunderland.

The Gunners beat the Black Cats 3-1 and although the teenager did not get on to the pitch, his under-21 team-mates Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide both did.

Willock’s first season in Steve Gatting’s side has caught the eye of Arsene Wenger and the winger has trained with the first team throughout this month.

"When I was younger I watched the Youth Cup and I always wanted to play in it"

Chris Willock

The 17-year-old is expected to be involved in Friday's Youth Cup game at Swansea and hopes to keep on impressing his coaches and work for more first-team opportunities.

“It was a good experience,” he told Arsenal.com. “You work for those sort of things - that is the objective to get to the first team. Hopefully if I keep knocking on the door I can get on to the pitch soon.

“I’m getting closer because I was on the bench and I want more and more - hopefully it will come. I think training with the first team gives you a lot more confidence in these sorts of games and it is helpful.

"Mesut Ozil stands out for me the most, I like the way he knows what he is going to do with it every time he gets the ball. His technique is one of the best, I try to copy him and learn things from him in training.

“At the start of the season I needed to get more physical and I’m starting to do that. I’m trying to score more goals and I just want to push on even more now.”

Arsenal Under-18s travel to Swansea for their fourth-round FA Youth Cup game and Willock believes the Gunners have the ability to go all the way.

“It will be very difficult,” he said. “It is going to be a hard game and I think we have the potential in our players to beat them.

“When I was younger I watched the Youth Cup and I always wanted to play in it and I thinking winning it would be an amazing feeling. I think we can do it this year.”

Follow @Arsenal on Twitter from 18:55pm (UK time) on Friday for live updates of the game against Swansea Under-18s at Stebonheath Park.

 

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