Arsenal youngster Stephy Mavididi insists that he likes playing with players in the Gunners first-team as it allows him to learn from them and gain experience. The striker has played with the likes of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Danny Welbeck and Gabriel which has given him a lot of insight on how football is played at the top level.
Mavididi has likened himself to Danny Welbeck in terms of his style of play, stating that he has trained a lot alongside the former Manchester United man during the period when the Gunners had a lot of injuries in the first team. The 17-year-old revealed that Welbeck talks a lot during a game, which helps the players around him to anticipate his next move.
"I think in terms of style I'm similar to Danny Welbeck and I enjoyed playing with him in a recent Under-21s game. I was playing slightly behind him and he speaks quite a lot during the game, which helped us work together well, and I've taken a lot of what he was saying on board. I've trained with the first earn quite a lot, especially because of all the injuries that there were," Mavididi told Arsenal's official website.
However, he reserved his best praise for Mertesacker, stating that the German was the best defender in the Arsenal team, who used his calm and composure on the ball to good effect in order to deny the opposition. The 31-year-old has been criticised for his lack of pace but Mavididi revealed that Mertesacker made up for that with his experience at the top level.
"I really benefited from it, especially playing in training games against the likes of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel. I think I benefited the most from playing against Per. He's so experienced and is such an authority on the pitch. He's always taking and organising and as I striker playing against him that can affect you – I had to learn to deal with that.
"He rarely has to get into a leg race because he's very clever in his defending. At one point I was getting frustrated because he kept catching me offside but that was because he'd step up at the right time. It was an education for me playing against him especially, and one that I feel I benefited from," he added.