Arsenal have confirmed that Deyan Iliev has signed a contract extension at the club.
The 23-year-old Macedonian, who moved to the Emirates in 2012 and last signed a new deal three years ago, is yet to make a first team appearance.
His time as a Gunner has been ravaged by injury, he endured four operations in the space of three years at one point, however, there have been signs of improvement and he seems up for challenging those above him.
“It’s a very big moment for me,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I came here as a very young boy and to stay here and get the chance to work with this amazing club and the amazing people here, it’s of course a big thing for me.
“It’s a boost of confidence for me. I’ve had tough years behind me. now that I’m playing, I’ve boosted my confidence and I believe I can make it at the top.
“I was injured for three years. That was a tough time for me, when everything was going not in the right direction. I had four operations. I’ve managed to come back, it’s made me stronger, more mature and I know my body well. I’m looking forward to starting again with the new manager and the new people.
“It could be a big season. Everybody starts from zero and has to show the manager how good they are and prove it. I’ll do my best to be the number one.”
Iliev has a big challenge on his hands given the myriad options between the sticks at Unai Emery’s disposal. By our reckoning, he’s sixth in the pecking order.
Petr Cech, now with the number 1 shirt, seems intent on sticking around. The club have splashed out big money on Bernd Leno who’ll certainly challenge the veteran Czech.
David Ospina could be on his way out, although his agent has admitted that it would have to be a very good offer to tempt the Colombian away.
Emiliano Martinez is back at London Colney after his loan spell with Getafe. The 25-year-old has previously enjoyed time at Wolves and is at an age when he needs regular football.
Matt Macey made his first team debut last season and appears to have seen off the challenge of Ryan Huddart and Hugo Keto who were both released recently. The Academy sides can also call on Portuguese Joao Virginia.