Arsenal defender Semi Ajayi has been speaking as he continues to train with the Gunners first-team
The 21-year-old centre back is yet to make his debut for Arsene Wenger’s senior side despite enjoying their company for quite some time now, but in an interview with the club’s official website he hinted it may not be long before he does.
“As long as you work hard and do the right things, you’ll get your opportunity,” Ajayi said. “I’m hoping to make my debut and after that make as many appearances as I can.”
The defender has been named on Arsenal’s bench twice this season, against Hull City in the league and Southampton in the Capital One Cup, but despite the defensive issues that have blighted the club he has not yet tasted first-team action.
Instead he has watched as Nacho Monreal struggled as a makeshift centre-back before the welcome return of Laurent Koscielny.
But is the Frenchman’s defensive partner who Ajayi reserved special praise for.
“Players like Per Mertesacker really helped me fit in when I first started training with them,” the Arsenal youngster said.
“He’s a role model for me. He’s got so much experience and he reads the game really well.”
With Isaac Hayden also set to challenge for a place at the back when he returns from injury, Ajayi could have plenty of competition in the race to land a first-team spot at the Emirates Stadium.