Arsenal u23 head coach Freddie Ljungberg has asked Arsenal to extend Julio Pleguezuelo’s contract, which currently expires at the end of the season.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 31: Troy Parrott of Tottenham Hotspur battles with Julio Pleguezuelo of Arsenal during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on August 31, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Kike Marin reports that Ljungberg is keen to keep the defender around with the club, and has asked Arsenal to look at renewing his contract. The 21-year-old has clearly impressed his coaches, and for a defender he’s still extremely young, so it may be worth giving him more time.

Unai Emery gave Pleguezuelo his first-team debut back in October, as Arsenal beat Blackpool 2-1 in the League Cup. However, the Spaniard suffered an injury not long afterwards, which kept him out of matches towards the end of the year.

Other than that Blackpool game, Pleguezuelo has played exclusively for the u21s and u23s this season. He’s made 13 appearances for the academy, taking part in seven wins, four draws and two defeats. Without him, the two teams have lost five, drawn one and won none.

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ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 29: of Arsenal durng a training session at London Colney on August 29, 2018 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Though there are some other key factors in those results, the difference in the Arsenal academy’s defending with and without Pleguezuelo is pretty stark. He’s also the current captain of the young side. No surprise Ljungberg wants to keep him around, then.