Arsenal defender Ignasi Miquel has admitted his surprise at the amount of first team opportunities afforded to him this season.
In December, the 18-year-old was the captain of the Arsenal Academy but has since enjoyed a promotion to the senior squad, where he has already looked composed and assured.
Miquel could yet play a bigger role for the Gunners as the Barclays Premier League campaign reaches the business end, and the Spaniard can't believe how dramatically his situation has changed in recent months.
“Things have gone so quickly,” he told the Arsenal Magazine. “I didn’t expect to play with the first team this year.
“Coming back from Spain after Christmas, I didn’t anticipate anything like this. For a week-and-a-half I was training with the Under-18s and then, suddenly, I was training with the first team.
“There is an added pressure of joining the first team, of course, but it’s part of our job and you have to get used to it. Once you develop your game, pressure comes naturally. You have to deal with it. You know the pressure is there and you have to get through it.”