“If you focus and really work hard, you can do it, regardless of what anyone thinks”
-Photo Credit- Kieran Clarke
How he plans to break into the Arsenal side . . .
"I've tried for a couple of seasons now but it's not easy, it's a top club. I've done well in previous pre-seasons but there is a new manager now, so you never know what can happen. When a new manager comes in and sees you doing well in training he could like you and want to keep you. So all I can do is just work as hard as possible and try to impress the manager."
His feelings towards a new manager . . .
"Yeah I am really excited for that, everyone likes a change sometimes and it will be a fresh start for me and every player will be hungry. It's good for the team because everyone will be motivated to show the manager what they can do. Its definitely something to be excited about."
His tribute to Arsene Wenger . . .
"I felt like all of my friends found out before I did and everyone was coming to me with the news. I then eventually saw it and at first you are a bit emotional because he's been there for many years and is the guy who gave me my first team opportunities. He's had a good, long career at Arsenal and a successful one, so it's nice to look back and see how far the club has progressed since he first came. I first started playing for the first team when I was sixteen and I am twenty-two now, so that's a long time working with Arsene Wenger. I've learnt a lot from him with just being in his environment everyday in training and listening to what he has to say. He's played a big part in my career and I really appreciate that, a lot of players at the club would say the same thing."
The ultimate career aim . . .
"My career dream has always been to play at the highest level, to play in the Champions League and stuff like that. My number one dream when I first started playing football was to participate in a World Cup, that's always been the number one dream since I was young. For me it's the biggest tournament in the world, playing internationally on the world stage."
Words of advice for young aspiring footballers . . .
"What I would say is that, if you love it, if you really love playing football then you should never give up and don't listen to what everyone has to say. When I was growing up, I had a lot of people telling me that there's not a lot of players that make it into top professional football and get to the highest level. Then a few years later I ended up signing my first professional contract, that just shows that if you focus and really work hard on what you want to do, you can do it, regardless of what anyone thinks or tells you."
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