After putting pen to paper on his first professional contract, Michal Rosiak is hoping that this is the start of a long relationship with the club he has supported all his life.
The versatile 17-year-old Polish youth international joined our academy in 2016 and has gone on to establish himself as a key player in our under-18 side. He is thrilled to have been awarded a pro deal, and is now looking forward to seeing how far he can progress at his boyhood club.
“Signing my first professional contract for Arsenal means everything to me, it’s pretty amazing,” Michal said as he reflected on an important milestone in his career. “Playing for the club I’ve always loved and watched growing up, hopefully it will be the first of many contracts. I want to win major trophies with the club.
“I’ve been here since under-12s, and the journey since then has had lots of ups and downs. I’ve had major injuries, but there have been lots of highs too.”
Before turning professional with us he was a scholar and made his under-18s debut against Brighton & Hove Albion last season. The full-back was an integral part of our FA Youth Cup run this term, and scored a crucial free-kick against Manchester City in the semi-final - one of four goals he bagged in the competition.
That feat was all the more impressive as they came mainly as a right-back, but Michal believes his best position is actually in midfield - and feels he has the perfect tutor to develop in that role in Jack Wilshere.
Under our under-18s head coach's guidance, Michal has also chipped in with three goals and assisted six more in eight under-18 league appearances - meaning he's amassed 13 goal contributions in 14 games across all competitions, and understandably he's pleased with those numbers.
"I think my progress has been very good, I’ve been progressing very well," he added. "Clearly, you can see from getting my first professional contract. I prefer to be a midfielder but if it's an inverted full-back, I can do that! I’ve been practising free-kicks quite a lot, I’m trying to master the technique to score more goals from set pieces.
“It’s pretty amazing [to wear the Arsenal shirt], especially when you think of the past and what kind of players wore this shirt, and obviously Jack [Wilshere] our coach as a player, and a coach now. Since the start, he has given me little tips and tricks on the pitch and off the pitch, and show how he used to react.”