‘My goal is to come back’ – Former Arsenal youth captain targets first-team role

Mark McGuinness is enjoying a run of first-team football with Ipswich in League One, but is eyeing a role under Mikel Arteta once he returns from his loan.

The defender scored a goal for Arteta in our pre-season friendly with MK Dons back in August, but didn’t do enough to convince the manager that he warranted a role in the senior squad for the campaign.

That was as close as he has got to making his senior debut for the club, but having captained the youth sides previously before suffering with a string of injury setbacks in the previous season, he is working hard to make his dream come true.

McGuinness joined Arsenal at the age of 10 and will not be giving up on his dream of breaking into the first-team, and his current season on loan with Ipswich will not be harming his chances.

Mark admits that it is his goal to return to Arsenal at the end of the season with hopes of breaking into the manager’s plans.

“That’s my goal,” he told FootballLondon in an exclusive interview. “I’ve been at the club since I was 10 and that hasn’t changed. I’ve always wanted to play for Arsenal’s first team so that will never change.

“What I’m doing now is experience and hopefully I can kick on. My goal is to come back and try and get myself into the side.

“Obviously there’s other factors with other centre halves in the first team and things like that, but that doesn’t stop me trying to get into the first team which is what I will try and do. If it doesn’t happen then it doesn’t happen, but that’s my main goal.”

McGuinness certainly has a number of rivals for the first-team roles at present, and with the likes of William Saliba and Mavroponos also enjoying first-team roles out on loan also, but the fact that McGuinness has the leadership, and his links to the club could well give him an advantage moving forwards.

Could Arteta give him a fair shot to impress in pre-season?


Tags Mark McGuinness


  1. Why not.
    The lad is 6’4″ tough as Teak
    Holding is another no nonsense
    Lad who learned his trade in England.
    Why do we pay 36 mill for Mustafi Turkish/German, 25 mill for Frenchman Saliba. 25 m for Brazilian Gabriel and sign Mari and 34 year old Luiz more Brazilians.
    Greeks Socritis 25m and Mavropanos ? In the past Senderous Squilacchi Gabrial Vermaelen,Djourou most of them expensive busts. The only decent ones were Koz Mertz snd Kolo Toure.The very best was from up the road Sol Campbell and further back Adam’s and O’Leary We have loads on our doorstep for free … but the scouts are too busy whizzing round the world on their expense account jaunts. The bigger the fee the bigger their percentage

  2. On this note ex youth gunner Kyle Bartley scored the winner for WBA while Niles played the whole game also.
    Another Arsenal youth defender Isac Hayden played all 90 for Newcastle in their important draw today while Joe Willock played all 90 for the same team.

  3. Hayden is a player we should have never let go. Better than Xhaka, Ceballos, Torreira and Elneny in midfield and certainly good enough for our defence. Problem at Arsenal is that the board and management is almost completely foreign which then neglects the English values and pride which must be uphold at the club. Local players are proud and will not leave a team as soon as another comes knocking on their door. We need to appoint an English man as a captain or someone who joined as a youth player. The best captains at any club are mostly local players ( Henderson, JT, Gerrard, Adams, Morgan, Ramos, Puyol, Maldini etc). Arteta is shipping out all our junior products. Sad indeed.

  4. Him and Ballard seemed good to me.
    I hope we stop making useless additions to the defence. If we get someone, he must be workd class with years to play.
    Since we probably have no money or attraction and Arteta may end up benching him on the first mistake or before, then stick to young talent and stop wasting resources.

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