The involvement of Calum Chambers meant that Julio Pleguezuelo had to fill in at right-back for Arsenal U21s last night- certainly not his preferred position- but the Spaniard still coped well and played his part as the young Gunners edged closer to the top tier.
As captain, Pleguezuelo will be determined to lead his side to victory against Aston Villa in next week’s play-off final, but, approaching the end of his third season at the club, now seems to be the time for the former Barcelona prospect to make the step up to senior football in some capacity.
Although not the tallest, the centre-back is quick and an excellent reader of the game, whilst, as you would expect from a La Masia graduate, he is superb technically.
Pleguezuelo’s performances during his first couple of campaigns with Arsenal were almost flawless, but this season his form wavered a little as he made some avoidable errors.
On last night’s evidence, however, the prospect is back to his best and earning promotion would be a fitting way to conclude the season and, perhaps, his involvement at this level.
Pleguezuelo has regularly partnered Krystian Bielik at the back for Arsenal’s youth sides this campaign, but at present it is the latter who seems closer to the first-team set-up.
As a consequence Pleguezuelo may well be sent out on loan next season and the 19-year-old will be determined to make a stellar impact as he seeks to join his compatriot Hector Bellerin in the first-team.
For now, though, Pleguezuelo’s focus will be on ensuring that the U21s earn promotion, even if he might not be playing at that level himself next season.