Vlad Dragomir has revealed that Arsenal are training him to play as a number 10 rather than in central midfield which is where he is used to playing.
Still only 17, Dragomir signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2015, arriving from ASC Poli Timisora for an initial fee of around £85k.
Speaking to the Arsenal programme ahead of the Champions League game against Ludogorets, Vlad, spoke about settling in when he first arrived on his own as a youngster with no English in his locker. Now settled, with his family in the city and sharing the same house, Dragomir believes that this is allowing him to focus more on his football.
He also revealed a position change.
“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.”
Dragomir has four Premier League appearances this season for the u23s, amassing a total of 198 minutes. In the UEFA Youth League, he has made three appearances, including a start in their game against Ludogorets on Wednesday.
At the time of writing, the youngsters were winning the game 1-0 after a 3rd minute goal from Reiss Nelson. Dragomir was replaced by Kaylen Hinds after 56 minutes.