Interview

Walti - What I've made of Gut's start

There's been a real Swiss connection in our midfield in recent weeks.

Lia Walti has formed a blossoming partnership with 20-year-old Malin Gut, with the duo providing the defensive shield at the base of our midfield. 

But, as Walti explains, the on-field chemistry has always been there between the two of them.

"I obviously knew her a bit before because I'm always watching the national team under-17s and under-19s to see what talents we have," she told Arsenal.com. "Malin was always one of the better players in the youth national teams, so I knew she was going to be in the senior team pretty quick. 

"I think it was two years ago when she came up and played her first games, and she's just someone who really impressed me from the start. You can't really see that she isn't as experienced because she's pretty calm, she looks really confident on the ball and that was really impressive to see from a young player. 

"There are many young players who are maybe still a bit wild or don't really have the structure in their game yet, but she really brought that from the first moment. That's why she impressed me from the start.

Malin Gut

"I didn't tell Joe not to get Malin, I was definitely one of the people who said she had a really big talent. I wanted her to go somewhere where she had the chance to play, so I definitely wanted to hear what sort of ideas he had with her. Then I also had the conversations with her because I really thought she could fit into our team really well. 

"With a young player it depends how they develop but I really believe that Malin brings with her quite a lot of good things. First she has the physical strength, she's left and right footed, she's got good vision and she can lead the game. If she keeps going like this and gets the playing time, she can be a really big player. 

"I hope she loves it as much as we do at Arsenal. I know it's not always easy when you're aware from home, so I'm hoping she's going to keep doing what she loves and what she can do best. If she stays like that and keeps improving, she can be one of the best defensive midfielders."

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