Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Macey has joined League Two outfit Accrington Stanley on an initial one-month loan deal, as confirmed by the north London club's official website.
The 20-year-old stopper moves to the Store First Stadium and could go straight into John Coleman's starting line-up for Friday night's clash against local rivals Bury.
Macey came through the Bristol Rovers academy before being snapped up by the Gunners after a successful trial period in 2013, and was named by Arsene Wenger on the first-team bench for Premier League games against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton earlier this season.
However, with competition for places stronger than ever following the return of Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina from injury, the talented youngster has been allowed to leave the Emirates Stadium in order to secure some regular action.
After establishing himself as a virtual ever-present in Arsenal's development squad in 2014/15, this short-term switch is a natural next step for an emerging young player hoping to eventually make a senior breakthrough.
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But, with Emiliano Martinez also ahead of him in the pecking order at the moment, Macey will have to be patient for his chance to prove to Wenger he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.
He can take that first step by impressing during his January stint with Accrington Stanley, and it seems the opportunity to experience competitive action - albeit in the fourth tier - is not lost on the level-headed custodian.
"I've been looking to get out on loan all season but due to injuries it didn't quite happen," explained Macey in an interview with the Lancashire club's official website.
"Part of developing into a top goalkeeper is going and learning your trade lower down the leagues and learn proper football, that's what people say. It's about adding that competitive edge to your game.
"I went away to Austria with the Arsenal first team in pre-season which was a good experience and then just at the beginning of November I was on the first team bench for a couple of games.
"Now goalkeepers are back from injury and it's time for me to come out and play some proper football."
Macey made 19 appearances for Arsenal's U21 side last season, and has been selected seven times by Steve Gatting in 2014/15, but the Development squad coach will now have to call upon another goalkeeper while the Bath-born starlet takes in a spell at Crown Park.
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