Pleguezuelo hoping for last chance to make the breakthrough at Arsenal

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Making the breakthrough into the first-team at Arsenal is certainly a very difficult task but for Julio Pleguezuelo matters have been made even more difficult by injuries.

The centre-back, who is very comfortable on the ball as you would expect from a graduate of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, has produced some excellent performances for Arsenal at youth level since joining the club in 2013 but now aged 20 he has yet to make a competitive appearance for the first-team.

Pleguezuelo gained some experience of senior football in the Spanish second tier with Mallorca last season and ended the campaign strongly having previously gone several months without being a regular in the side.

Upon returning to Arsenal Pleguezuelo was eager to challenge for a place in Arsenal’s matchday squad in cup competitions but he has so far been unable to achieve that objective, largely owing to an injury he suffered while playing for the U23s.

Now back fully fit, Pleguezuelo is determined to make up for lost time but the fact that he was overlooked for inclusion in the squad for the home Europa League game against Red Star Belgrade, with Ben Sheaf (who is younger than him) being selected instead, indicates that the Spaniard faces a battle in attempting to salvage his Arsenal career.

Thankfully for Pleguezuelo the games are coming thick and fast for Arsenal over the next couple of months and he has a good chance of being involved in some capacity in the remaining Europa League group stage fixtures and perhaps the Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham United.

Pleguezuelo will, in the meantime, continue to play for Arsenal’s U23 side, whom he frequently captains.

Well suited to playing as part of a three-man defence, the prospect is likely to be involved in Arsenal’s opening Premier League International Cup fixture at home to Porto tomorrow night.

Should he impress in that fixture then Pleguezuelo may well be selected to train with the first-team squad next week, which could potentially lead to him making the bench against Cologne.

Pleguezuelo will, however, be fully aware that time is starting to run out for him to succeed at Arsenal and it may well be the case that he is let go at the end of this season so that he can play regularly elsewhere.

He certainly deserves at least one opportunity, though, to showcase his credentials for the Arsenal first-team.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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24 Comments on "Pleguezuelo hoping for last chance to make the breakthrough at Arsenal"

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Paul

Good luck to him.

Santori

Holding Chambers.

Crash Fistfight

If nothing else, he gave us this classic moment: https://mobile.twitter.com/ArsenalTerje/status/730127219427840000/video/1

Xzibit

No bullshit

caligunner

Thats brilliant lol

allezkev

I hope he gets a chance, with West Ham in the League Cup coming up and 2 UEFA Cup games where Arsene can experiment there is maybe a window of opportunity for the lad?

3 at the back will probably suit him.

Shire Gooner

Reminds me of an Arsenal legend being interviewed on live TV after an FA cup win!

KingKolo

All these players that don’t make it at Arsenal. Yet the first team are no great shakes. Beyond the details regarding this kid… Arsene doesn’t seem to have confidence in any of his players.

ronaldo

well said

lee dicks on

Hope he makes it, only the guy who prints the shirts doesn’t

David C

ok, I expect many thumbs down from this BUT if you are in the top 10 richest clubs in the world, why bother having an academy at all? There is no loyalty in football anymore with regards to players so hoping for a hometown discount at contract time from players that came from your academy probably doesn’t exist any more. Why not save the money from the academy and use it for transfer fees to improve the first team?

I’m Canadian so we have a draft system over here for young players in all sports; talent is distributed automatically. Obviously you can’t have drafts in football because of the many different leagues/countries…

Paul

You have an academy to save the 50+ million that a top player would cost. Even so there will be lots of dropouts to get that one excellent player. Plus get the young players committed to the club and fans loving them. See how highly fans regard Jack.

And Messi at Barca.

David C

I don’t know, look at Chelsea. They have an academy but basically use none of the players from it. Their net transfer spend is in the positive…but that might have to do with some Russian money laundering.

I can understand having a B-team or a farm team as it’s called in North America, but why bother with the really young prospects…it seems like a waste of time.

Jack’s loyalty to Arsenal has prob cost him in the end. He won’t go to the world cup because he’s on the bench the whole time.

Araj

The Academy system in football is very different from that in most North American sports leagues. Player get associated with teams at a very young age in football instead of playing for school or college teams like in North America.
One could argue, and this is just a theory, that football as a sport is more skill based than based on athleticism as compared to other sports. Hence players need to get good technical education from a young age at a good academy. This is why certain teams seem to produce so much more top class players than other teams instead of it being more random (which would mean the innate talent of the player is less important than the coaching). Though this could also be because the big teams invest more in identifying younger talent so more comes out.
All said though the academy does produce for almost all teams. Even the very biggest ones have seen super generations. United’s greatest team was based on academy players, so was Madrid’s Quinte del Buitre generation and so was the recent Barcelona super generation. A number of the greatest ever players for their teams are also homegrown. Also, while hometown players might not give you a big discount they will be more willing to stick around despite what else is available. Good recent examples are Totti and Derossi at Roma.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, they have started doing something wholly unique in recent years where they buy massive numbers of young players from other countries and regions to bring them through the academy. This is an anomaly from the norm.
Even for them though, the team they built in the Abramovich years, where they could almost buy anyone they wanted, was built on the back of an academy product – John Terry.

KingKolo

It’s not as if the Academy is free… and when last did we produce a player that saved us 50m quid thru the academy… not nicking someone else’s like Bellerin at 16…

caligunner

Of course you can have a draft. MLS does it.

You understand operating the academy is not very expensive compared to signing expensive players. just producing solid squad players or rotation players from the academy saves millions. That can be used to signing player where needed.

Man Manny

1. Alex Iwobi, Jack Wilshere, Hector Bellerin et al, are the reasons you have an academy.
2. The state of Canadian football speaks for itself.

Bon Jello

I think, and I may well have got this wrong, that teams in the UK, especially big ones, are financially obligated to reinvesting their money into the local community and grass roots football/youth programmes. So whilst you make a good point on a business level, David (I didn’t thumb you down, you’re just being inquisitive), the youth systems are potentially even better ways to enhance the team/create ‘product’. Even if a youth player never makes it at the home club, a successful youth system can often reap rewards by selling to lower/abroad. Plus, ethically it’s nicer knowing our money goes towards enhancing the game for future generations.

David C

thanks, nice comment. It’s just hard to understand the system in football because it’s so different from anything we see over here in N. America. We’re used to drafts and all the leagues strive for parity. It’s a big reason why a lot of N. Americans can’t be bothered with football. Why watch a season when you know Munich, Juve, (old) Man U are just going to win the league every year?

At least we can all agree on one thing: Smash the Spuds tomorrow!!!!

Maul Person

Well you were right about one thing… you were going to get thumbed down for that comment. And rightly so!

Boola Boola

Hoping the best to the lad and that he does get a chance with the first team. But when that happens, we’re gonna have a hell of a time making a song out of his name

ronaldo

yeah give him a go wenger

allezkev

Holding is injured.

Nas

All the best young blood