Having come through our academy and as an Arsenal supporter, Paul Osew can’t wait for a chance to test himself against the Premier League club’s rising stars.
The attacking full-back burst onto the scene last season, scoring in just his second league start against Rochdale, but this campaign has tested his resilience after a hip injury sidelined him for 10 weeks.
The 20-year-old's attitude to training has been praised by our management team since his return - and a potential chance to play at Plough Lane has been a long-held ambition since joining us as a scholar.
"The stadium is amazing, that’s all we’ve been looking forward to since I started here," said Paul. "When we heard that we were going back to Plough Lane that was amazing, especially with the history that’s already been made there. Playing there under the lights will be a great feeling.
“I’m an Arsenal fan, but I like to keep it low profile! I’m playing against the team I support, so I am going to give it straight to them! I came here as a striker, then I was a winger, and I got converted to a wing-back. I have adapted to it, but I’m also enjoying it because it’s making me a versatile player. Going into this game I just want to show them what I am made of."
Paul is aiming to put a difficult start to the season fully behind him by recapturing the form that really caught the eye last season, his rampaging runs down the left flank making him a favourite with our fans.
“It was not the best for me to be out for about 10 weeks with injuries, but I’ve had help from Robbo to mentally get me through it. Physically, the medical team have helped me to recover from my hip injury, so I’ve just been trying to do my rehab and stay strong, as well as supporting the boys.
“As soon as I get my chance I’m going to try and take it. I just turned 20 in November, so I’m still young. I still have a lot about me, I feel like I’ve still got a lot to show, but as soon as I get on that pitch we all know that I’ve got pace, so I’m just going to attack, attack, attack, and show them what I’m made of.
“I have been in and out of the first-team and I have just attacked each session. You can’t drop your standards just because you are not in the first-team. You can’t get frustrated and you just have to attack each session, whether you are in the first-team or not.
“It’s always a good thing to get selected into the squad and I know what I’m capable of and so too do my team-mates. I am just going to bring it back to the team and help the team get through it. We expect that they will like to pop the ball around and play out from the back, so we will have to be up for the challenge.
“We know that they are going to have most of the ball, so we are just going to have to keep it when we do have it, and make the most of it when we get the ball. We know that Arsenal are going to have loads of quality players, but we know how good we are as a team, so we are not going to let that phase us.”
Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell's full interview with Paul.