Arsenal U-23 v Manchester United

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Interview

'Mavropanos looks mobile, pacy and very strong'

The plan for Konstantinos Mavropanos when he joined earlier this month seemed clear: he would continue his development by going straight out on loan.

But so impressive have his performances been in training that Arsene Wenger has changed his mind as he is keen to see more of the centre back - starting on Monday night in our under-23s clash against Manchester United LIVE on Arsenal.com.

"He looked comfortable technically, he looks very mobile as a defender and he looks very pacy and strong in all aspects of defending," the Arsenal manager said. 

"What I don’t know yet is how well he’ll cope with pressure, how much his lack of experience will be detrimental to his performances. 

"When you go to a big club, every game and every mistake is analysed. Every action you take in the game is analysed, so you’re under scrutiny and that puts a huge pressure on you. If you make a mistake in a smaller league for a smaller club, it’s less of a story than it would be at a big club.

Watch our under-23s live on Arsenal.com

"We will see [how he copes with that] that in the games and I haven’t seen him play in England against an English team yet. I have to see that. Personally, I am encouraged by what I’ve seen and I’ve decided to keep him until May.
 
"Greece is a fantastic sporting country. Their basketball and football is absolutely amazing. They have a real knowledge of team sport and they produce fantastic players. He can be one of them from what I’ve seen, if he develops well. 

"He looks like an intelligent boy as well, so let’s hope he will develop into a great player in the future for Greece."

News

U-23s: Arsenal v Manchester United - The Brief

THE STORY SO FAR

We return to Premier League 2 action on Monday night when Manchester United visit Meadow Park – and you can watch it LIVE on Arsenal.com.

After our previous fixture against league leaders Liverpool was postponed, Steve Gatting’s side will be raring to go, having not played since before Christmas.

Currently third in the table, we have a game in hand over second placed Leicester City and victory could put us within two points of the Foxes.

THE OPPOSITION

Hovering just two points above the bottom of the table, United are in desperate need of a win if they are to begin climbing up the table.

The Red Devils have picked up just two victories so far this season, but have picked up both while on the road.

Their top scorer is Demetri Mitchell, who has struck four times in 12 games this campaign.

ONE TO WATCH

Reiss Nelson

Due to his involvement with the first-team squad this season, Reiss Nelson has been restricted to just six league appearances for Gatting’s side, but has made the most of his time.

With six goals, Nelson has been on target against Manchester City and Liverpool, also burying a fine free-kick when we travelled to face United earlier in the season.

The tricky attacking midfielder usually starts on the wing, but likes to cut inside and has found the back of the net on more than one occasion by doing so.

 

LAST TIME WE MET

We picked up an impressive win at United, thanks to a pair of first-half free-kicks from Nelson and Josh Dasilva.

Nelson first curled the ball in from the left, having hit the post earlier on, before Dasilva placed the ball in the top corner from the right hand-side.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

We will be providing live updates on our Twitter account and the match will be shown live on our website from 6.40pm (UK time). Kick-off is at 7pm.

Academy

Watch our under-23s LIVE on Arsenal.com

Tune into Arsenal.com and the App from 6.40pm (UK time) on Monday, January 15 for LIVE coverage of our under-23s' match against Manchester United.

Our youngsters head into the game at Meadow Park on the back of a five-game unbeaten run, and our third in the Premier League 2 table.

United, meanwhile, have had a difficult campaign and are in 11th place, having only won two of their 12 games so far. In the reverse fixture in September, goals from Reiss Nelson and Josh Dasilva saw us win 2-0 in Manchester.

Our live video stream of the game is free to view for all Arsenal Members. Click here to register for FREE Digital Membership.

The show starts at 6.40pm (UK time) with Russell Hargreaves and Max Jones on commentary from 7pm. Highlights will be available after the match.

Interview

Nketiah - I’ve been working for this my whole life

When Eddie Nketiah came on in our Carabao Cup tie against Norwich City, he only had one thing on his mind: to make an impact.

Fifteen seconds later and he had equalised. Not long after he would score the winner. Mission accomplished.

But Nketiah’s journey towards his ultimate goal – becoming a first-team regular – still has some way to go, although he has come a long way already.

in joining us, wasn’t your typical one. He honed his craft on the streets of Lewisham, before joining his local club, where he was then picked up by Chelsea, only to be let go at the age of 14.

 “In the early days I played football in the streets - in the park there was a little cage in my area,” he told Arsenal Player. “It was really hard playing in a football cage, there’s a lot of pride there and everyone wants to show how good they are and what they can do and there’s no security around, so you’ve got to fend for yourself.

“If you get tackled you’ve just got to get back up, there’s no fouling. There’s a lot of trash talk going on in the cage and you’ve just got to have a thick skin and get through it, and just show how good you are.

“I started off at Hilliford, it was a local club at under-9s and then I joined Chelsea at the end of that season and I was there until under-14s. I got released at under-14s and was told I wasn’t going to get another contract. A week later I got spotted, by Ian Gilmour, Charlie’s dad - at the time he was a scout for Arsenal - and he brought me down, and a week after that I got signed.

“My first year was really strong, I tried to build a name for myself. I think in my first year I got 24 goals in 20 starts, I think 26 in total, so it was a really prolific year for me. The next year I got 24 goals as well. It was really good for my confidence for this season and now that I’ve already scored goals at that level, I've shown I’m capable of doing so.”

After impressing for our under-23s, Nketiah made his first-team debut at BATE Borisov, before THAT performance off the bench against Norwich.

“I was so happy and delighted when the boss called me over and let me know that I would be coming on, even though it was only for four or five minutes,” he said. “Just to feel that all that hard work you have put in over the years has come true and that you’re able to step up with some of the best players in the world - it was a great feeling for me. 

“I was so happy, the adrenaline was pumping through me and I was just eager to get a touch on the ball and show what I could do, so that was a really great moment.

“Against Norwich I was itching to go on and all that was running through my mind was I was thinking, ‘Get one chance to try and get the team back in it and show I am in the right position to take it’, and I was eager to make an impact. To come on and do so in such quick time, 15 seconds, was amazing.

“It’s what you dream about every night when you go to sleep as a kid and to turn it into reality was a great feeling. I was so overwhelmed and so excited I even lost my head a bit with the celebration, usually I’m cool and calm with the celebrations.

“To be fair, the celebration came out nice on the camera so I wouldn’t change a thing from that night, maybe to get a hat-trick, but there’s plenty of time for that.”

Fixtures

International Champions Cup
Ticket Info
International Champions Cup
Ticket Info

Results

Friendly Match
Premier League