Interview

Pleguezuelo - The story behind my Arsenal debut

What a night for Julio Pleguezuelo, or ‘Pleggy’ to pretty much everyone he encounters.

The Spanish defender was meant to playing in Cheltenham on Tuesday night, but instead he was elevated to the first team for his debut at Emirates Stadium.

And Pleggy did himself proud. Assured on the ball and decisive in his duels, the 21-year-old stood firm when Blackpool threatened to peg us back after Matteo Guendouzi’s red card.

“I was meant to be playing yesterday for the under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, but I got a phone call that the first team needed me for training and I literally found out in training that I was starting,” explained Pleggy. “Everything happened so quickly and I’m so happy.

“I tried to stay very calm and I knew it was going to be a very important game for me. I tried to take a lot of pressure off before the game and the performance couldn’t have been any better from myself and the team.

“I couldn’t be any happier and I think I’ve been waiting a long time for this. There’s a lot of hard work behind this and to be fair thank you very much to the boss for giving me the chance.

“I think after six years at the club I had some experience of going out on loan and I knew this was going to be a very important year for me and I kept working and I think I got the reward for that.”

Pleggy walked in for his interview just as the news broke that we will face Tottenham in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

“I think it’s going to be a very good game,” he said. “I think north London derby… well let’s make sure we win that.

“I want to play for Arsenal. That’s my dream. I want to keep playing for the first team and I’m just going to have to keep working, that’s all.”

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