In Young Guns, featured first in the official matchday programme, we find out about the next generation of Arsenal youngsters, in their own words.
This time we spoke to Zech Medley:
I joined Arsenal from Chelsea, but my first experience was with Fulham.
I was playing with my Sunday side and I was invited for a six- week trial by them. Four weeks into the trial we had a game against Chelsea. I was playing as a winger then. We lost 7-4 but I scored all four of Fulham’s goals. After the game Fulham wanted to sign me, but before I could put pen to paper, Chelsea came in for me and I stayed there for eight years, until I was 16. I learnt a lot while with Chelsea. As I got taller though – I’m now 6ft 4in – I was moved back from a winger to left back and then into centre of defence. That took some adapting to, as I’d always been an attack- minded player.
I am, of course, still learning the position and refining my technical, tactical and mental approach to the role. I came to Arsenal because I wasn’t getting the game time with Chelsea. I arrived last October on a trial and after two weeks I was told that Arsenal were happy to sign me, which was officially concluded in December. Since then I’ve played a good number of games and scored too.
There are a lot of similarities with the training at Chelsea, but the big difference is that there is a far greater emphasis on developing technique at Arsenal. Everyone has been really good to me and I feel at home already. My family live in Kent, so I am in digs with Alex Crean and we are at the home of Agi and Irene in Barnet. They look after us very well so that we’re able to concentrate on our football.
I’m working hard to cement a spot in the under-18s and improving my all-round game, especially heading, tackling and positioning. I’m comfortable on the ball and I like to play out from the back, so the way Arsenal play suits me perfectly. I like to watch the defending style of Laurent Koscielny. His fight, determination, positioning and physical approach are all aspects that I admire and try to absorb into the way I play.
There was a saying that was drummed into me from a very young age and I believe it is so true: “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.”
Biggest influence on your career?
What’s the best aspect of your game?
Stepping into midfield.
What do you still need to work on?
Positioning off the ball
Which team did you support as a boy?
Who did you pretend to be in the playground?
Which current player would you most like to play against?
What’s been the greatest moment in your career?
Winning a tournament with England Under-16s.
What’s your most valuable possession?
What other sports are you good at?
Best sense of humour?
Best at FIFA?
Best ball skills?
Worst at FIFA?
Worst ball skills?
Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source