Feature

Vlad Dragomir

In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words.

This time we spoke to creative midfielder Vlad Dragomir:

I am really enjoying the way everything is going this year. It was quite tough for me last year. I came to Arsenal and my English wasn’t very good and I wasn’t able to communicate with anyone properly, especially my team-mates.

I was in digs, my family were in Romania and it was quite difficult. Language was the biggest barrier but as my English has improved everything has got better. I could appreciate more of what the coaches were saying and generally I began to settle in better. This year I live in a house with my family. My father works in the UK and my brother is at university here and it’s helped me massively to have them around. It makes me feel more comfortable and able to better concentrate on football.

Another issue I had to cope with was that I was asked to play a different role for Arsenal, which took me some time to adapt to. I used to play as a central midfield pair in a 4-4-2 system and I still do for Romania. But here, I was given the role of a number 10. It’s a hard job and there are many aspects to it. You are always involved, and trying to get used to all the responsibilities and play to a standard that I was happier with took some time, but now I enjoy it so much. The involvement is the best thing. The way Arsenal play makes it a very important position. I used to watch Mesut Ozil play a lot – even before he played for Arsenal – and he was the player I used to try to learn from. Now I can see what he does up close, especially when I train with the first team. I have trained with the first team quite a lot and hope to make that a regular occurrence. It helps you on the mental side and the technical side and I feel I improve being around the first team.

My other main aim for this season is to play every game that I can for the Under-23s. It is another way of raising standards as we play against experienced players and the pace of the game is faster and is more physical. Those challenges make you a better player and take you closer to the target of playing first- team football. I was away with the Romania Under-19s team last week, which is also very helpful in my development. I play in central midfield because the style we play is 4-4-2, as I said, but I’ve trained with the first team quite a lot and hope to make it a regular occurrence we had some good games.

We won 6-0 against San Marino but lost 3-1 to Norway and 2-1 to Holland in a close game. It was upsetting to lose the games but we all learned from those defeats about what we could have done better, and hopefully we can improve going forward. Romania being in the European Championships gave football back home a big boost, especially the performance against France, even if it was upsetting to lose so late in the game. Being in a tournament again was very important to the nation and it’s the challenge of the next generation to build on that now.

 

Vlad Dragomir

Vlad Dragomir

 

THE LOWDOWN

When did you join the Arsenal academy?Last year.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?My family.

What's the best aspect of your game?My passing.

And what do you still need to work on?Finishing.

Which team did you support as a boy?ACS Poli Timisoara in Romania.

Who did you pretend to be in the playground?Ronaldo.

Which current player would you most like to play against?Toni Kroos.

If you could score any goal from history, which one would it be?The one in the final against Chelsea.

What's been the greatest moment in your career so far?My first training session with the first team.  

TEAM-MATES

Who has the best sense of humour?Krystian Bielik.

Who is the best at FIFA?Hugo Keto.

Who has the best engine?Kris Da Graca.

Who has the best turn of pace?Reiss Nelson.

Who is the best with the ladies?Me.

Who is the worst dressed?Kostas Pileas.

Who is the worst dancer?Hugo.

Who has the worst taste in music?Savvas Mourgos. 

 

Vlad celebrates scoring the equaliser against FC Basel for the Under-19s

Vlad celebrates scoring the equaliser against FC Basel for the Under-19s

 

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