Arsenal boss Unai Emery will treat Wednesday night’s EFL Cup clash with Championship side Brentford as an opportunity to give some of the Gunners’ most promising young talents an opportunity to feature for the senior team, as reported by the club’s website.
This, coupled with the mini injury crisis currently afflicting Arsenal’s defensive contingent, could see Julio Pleguezuelo make his Arsenal debut.
Having featured in both the Espanyol and Atletico Madrid youth systems, Pleguezuelo ultimately joined Arsenal at the age of 16 from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. One year later, in 2014, he signed his first professional contract with the North London club.
Despite having consistently impressed for the Gunners’ youth sides, and captained the under-23s, the 21-year-old defender is yet to feature for the senior team. His first taste of senior football came in a fruitful loan spell with second tier Spanish side Mallorca in the 2016/17 campaign. This was followed by another bright stint with Gimnastic in the same division last season.
Fitness concerns over the likes of Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis and Konstantinos Mavropanos could see the Spaniard finally turn out at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. If he does indeed get the opportunity to play against Brentford, then it’s a chance he must take as time is surely running out for him to make the grade for the Gunners.
If Pleguezuelo is able to meet the standards required at Arsenal then his natural attributes could see him become a real asset for the Premier League side. Comfortable in possession and with a great eye for a pass, the former Spain under-18 international is well-suited to the style of play that Emery is seeking to implement at the Emirates.
Age: 21 (26/01/1997)
Born: Palma, Spain
Squad No.: 53