Yennaris time for Nico

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Arsenal youngster Nico Yennaris has not always considered himself to be a defender, but looked perfectly at home out on the flank when handed his first-team chance at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.

The 18-year-old has been regarded as something of a utility player during his time with the Gunners' Academy, playing in a variety of roles including in midfield and attack.

Yennaris was thrust into the spotlight when introduced as a half-time substitute in the Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester United, and having coped well with the challenge, he admits that the right-back role does seem to suit him well.

"When I came to Arsenal I was actually a striker and then I went to right back," he explained told Arsenal Player. "Through the ranks I was playing at centre back and then in central midfield but I probably wasn't tall enough for centre back.

"It was then between playing in midfield and at right back and I've just adapted to the game. I've known the position for a few years.

"I think I am [suited to playing there] because obviously I wasn't the tallest to be playing at centre back and I'm quite quick. I can move up and down the line quite well so I think I probably am quite suited, yes."

The talented teenager could be handed his first start by Arsene Wenger when Arsenal take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend, after impressing against United winger Nani, who is renowned for giving the most experienced defender a torrid time.

"My main focus was to just keep Nani quiet and get him down the line away from goal, and I thought I did alright," he continued. "He's very tricky.

"When you think you might be able to get the ball, he's taken it and he's going. You have to be patient against some players like that and think of it two ways - either get tight and don't let him turn or be patient and not dive in.

"But overall I'm delighted at the moment, I can't be any happier. I've made my Premier League debut, played in the Carling Cup and the FA Cup so I can't complain."

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