Arsenal youngster ready to become starter

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Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry thinks he is ready to become a regular starter for the first team at the Emirates.

The 18-year-old German replaced Theo Walcott moments before kick off in the Gunners' 3-1 home win against Stoke at the weekend for his Premier League debut.

Arsene Wenger says Gnabry has a 'fantastic opportunity' to play in the first-team with Walcott soon to undergo abdominal surgery and likely to be unavailable for several weeks.

And Gnabry is expected to be given the chance to stake a claim for a first team place when Arsenal travel to West Brom in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

“I think I'm close [to being a regular],” said Gnabry, speaking ahead of the Stoke game.

“I've been around the squad for most of the games now so I think it's going very well and I'm pleased with the situation I'm in right now.

“I need a couple more games to get back my match sharpness and I need to improve on my technique and my weaker foot.

"The game is quicker [at this level], other players are stronger and faster so it's really difficult to defend but you have to adapt to it. I'm working on that side of my game.”

The League Cup was the stage for Gnabry's first-team debut last season, coming on against Coventry in the third round and starting the next round against Reading which ended in a 7-5 Arsenal win.

“I was very excited [against Coventry],” he said.

“Playing in the first team for the first time was really pleasing and if I look back I'm delighted with the way it went.

“As for Reading, that was just a special night. Everyone who has seen the game must have gone crazy about it so it was really good to be involved in that game and it was a great experience.

“This competition has done a lot because it gives young players a chance, especially at Premier League clubs. It's a really good competition and I'm hoping I'm going to be involved in it this season.

“I think we can win it [the Capital One Cup] because we've got good players. We are obviously young but it's not about age. I think we have a chance.”

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