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"
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.
Copyright 2017 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.