Vlad Dragomir was in tears as he spoke to the media following Romania’s u19 defeat at the hands of the Ukraine.
Dragomir, who captains his national youth team at u19 level, told the media, “It was hard to get here, it was a nice road. We’re sorry for the game today.”
Romania lost 2-1 in the second stage of u19 Euro qualifying, allowing the Ukrainians to leap-frog them to seal first place in the group by a single point.
According to a press report a little over a year ago, the Romanian media see the 18-year-old as the next Toni Kroos, while in London he’s viewed as Mesut Ozil’s ‘heir’.
The player, meanwhile, revealed at the end of 2016, that Arsenal want to play him as a number 10.
“Another issue I had to cope with was that I was asked to play a different role for Arsenal, which took me some time to adapt to,” Dragomir said.
“I used to play as a central midfield pair in a 4-4-2 system and I still do for Romania.
“But here, I was given the role of a number 10.
“It’s a hard job and there are many aspects to it.
“You are always involved, and trying to get used to all the responsibilities and play to a standard that I was happier with took some time, but now I enjoy it so much.
“I’ve trained with the first team quite a lot and hope to make it a regular occurrence
“The involvement is the best thing.
“The way Arsenal play makes it a very important position. I used to watch Mesut Ozil play a lot – even before he played for Arsenal – and he was the player I used to try to learn from. Now I can see what he does up close, especially when I train with the first team.
“I have trained with the first team quite a lot and hope to make that a regular occurrence. It helps you on the mental side and the technical side and I feel I improve being around the first team.”