Julio Pleguezuelo says he’s delighted to have made his Arsenal first team debut having waited five years for his opportunity since signing from Barcelona.
In the midst of a defensive injury crisis, Unai Emery thrust the 21-year-old centre-back into action against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup and he went on to impress alongside Shkrodran Mustafi.
The defender, who has enjoyed two loan spells with Mallorca and Gimnastic in his native Spain, had started the week expecting to play for the under-21s in their Checkatrade Trophy showdown with Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening making his call-up all the more exciting.
“I was meant to be playing yesterday for the under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, but I got a phone call that the first team needed me for training and I literally found out in training that I was starting,” he told Arsenal.com.
“Everything happened so quickly and I’m so happy. I tried to stay very calm and I knew it was going to be a very important game for me. I tried to take a lot of pressure off before the game and the performance couldn’t have been any better from myself and the team.
“I couldn’t be any happier and I think I’ve been waiting a long time for this. There’s a lot of hard work behind this and to be fair thank you very much to the boss for giving me the chance.
“I think after six years at the club I had some experience of going out on loan and I knew this was going to be a very important year for me and I kept working and I think I got the reward for that.”
Congratulations to Julio, who’ll no doubt have his eye on further opportunities in the months to come.