Arsenal's Stefan O'Connor says he can now be himself in first-team training

Emirates Stadium

A young Arsenal defender has been speaking about how it feels to train with the club's stars.

Arsenal youngster Stefan O’Connor has been speaking to the club’s official website, reflecting on his debut for the Gunners’ senior side earlier this season.

The 18-year-old centre-back came off the bench in Arsenal’s Champions League group game against Galatasaray, replacing right-back Mathieu Debuchy.

And now the teenager has been talking about that match along with his recent training sessions with the players he one day hopes to emulate.

“It was hard because I’m not a right-back,” O’Connor said of his debut. “I had never played there before, but of course you just want to play anywhere.”

O’Connor is one of a number of young Arsenal players who have been given a chance by manager Arsene Wenger, but following the arrival of Gabriel Paulista this month it has just become that much harder to get minutes in the first-team.

That said, O’Connor is clearly enjoying training with Arsenal’s senior stars.

“It’s a different level,” he said of first-team training. “I was quite nervous at first but I’m more used to it now so I can relax and be myself more.”

Along with the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gedion Zelalem, O’Connor could have a very bright future at the Emirates Stadium. But if he is to do so, he will have to take every opportunity that comes his way, just as he did when he was asked to play in an unfamiliar position in illustrious company.

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