Banfield praises progression of Miquel

Arsenal Reserves coach Neil Banfield has praised the progression of Spanish defender Ignasi Miquel over the past season, suggesting he was unlucky not to see more first-team outings.

Miquel, 18, has undergone a rapid development since he was induced into the reserve squad from the youth ranks in the 2009/10 season, becoming captain towards the end of that campaign.

The defender carried this form into last season and excelled for Arsenal Reserves at centre-back. His performances didn’t go unnoticed, as the youngster was rewarded for his fine form with two starts in Arsenal’s FA Cup encounters with Leyton Orient.

And Banfield revealed that Miquel’s performances have earned him the trust of manager Arsene Wenger.

"He’s done ever so well, he trained with [Wenger] who watched him and decided yes, he can trust him, he could play him," he told Arsenal Player.

However, Banfield stressed the need for the Spaniard to continue working on his game.

"It’s the first step, it’s a taste for him, he’s still developing within next season and he knows his schedule and what’s in place for him.

"Part of that is breaking into the first team, obviously, but there’s a work in progress for him to develop, to become a top player at Arsenal and he knows where he is at the moment."

With many first-team players at Arsenal touted for moves away from Emirates Stadium, it will be refreshing for Gunners fans to hear of such a quality player rising through the ranks due to Wenger’s incessant eye for talent.

"He has everything that Arsenal requires and Arsene did require to be an Arsenal player - his defending qualities, his intelligence as a defender, his athleticism and he’s good on the ball.


By Killian Woods