One of the features of this season has been, with the squad depleted due to injuries and a lack of options, youngsters being thrown in at the deep end.
In August, Ignasi Miquel made an unexpected Premier League debut against Liverpool following an injury to Laurent Koscielny, and Nico Yennaris did likewise against Manchester United yesterday.
The difference this time, though, was that there was no injury to Johan Djourou, the player who he replaced, with the Swiss, who is one of several players to have filled in at right-back in the absence of Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson withdrawn following a torturous first-half against the likes of Nani and Patrice Evra.
Yennaris acquitted himself well and also delivered something of an attacking threat with his crosses, but, despite having featured at full-back with some regularity throughout his Arsenal education, the England youth international’s preferred position is the holding midfield role.
His tenaciousness and ability to instigate attacks is perhaps best suited to midfield but, for now, Yennaris is making use of a rather desperate situation and the experience that he has gained this season, having started against Bolton in the Carling Cup and emerged off the bench against Leeds in the FA Cup, is sure to stand him in good stead for the future.
Yennaris is one of several young players in the Arsenal set-up who has reached the point of his career where a loan spell would be of great benefit to him but, such is the current situation at the club, that may have to be put on the backburner until next season.
The 18 year old missed most of the second half of last season after sustaining an injury in the FA Youth Cup defeat to Chelsea and has certainly made up for lost time this time around.