Joe Willock was the undoubted star of the show last time out in the Europa League as we beat Dundalk at Emirates Stadium.
But what are his hopes for this season – and how much of an inspiration to him has it been to see the likes of Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles make the England squad?
“First of all, they’re really good friends to me so I’m so happy for them and it’s something that I can take my hat off to them for,” Willock said.
“I grew up with them in the academy and for them to get to the England first team is an amazing achievement. If they can do it then I can do it as well. I’m just trying to work hard and that’s my aim: to play for my country and shine.
“I’m just going to continue working hard. I’m 21 years old and I’m playing for the team I love. I’ve supported this team my whole life, so I’m not trying to look at it too intensely. I’m just trying to work hard and give the question to the boss.
“In every game I play, I need to ask the question, knock on the door with my performances. I don’t really like to speak, I like to show it on the pitch.
“I thrive off competition, so when I had the conversation with [Arteta, about opportunities], it wasn’t something negative for me – it was positive.
“I wanted to learn from the players who were coming in and was training with every day, and compete with. I’m 21 years old and I want to compete with these players. I told Mikel that and it was very encouraging for him to support me and say if I play well, I’ll get the chance. That’s what I want to do right now.”
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