Ignasi Miquel: Season Review

SWANSEA, WALES - JANUARY 15: Nathan Dyer of Swansea City challenges Ignasi Miquel of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Ignasi Miquel made 9 appearances in 2011-12 as he continued to work his way into Arsene Wenger's future plans after promising debuts against Leyton Orient in the previous campaign. This year, Arsenal's reserve captain showed off his versatility, playing at left back several times during the Great Fullback Crisis. Miquel played every minute of Arsenal's League Cup run and although he wasn't seen in the first team past January, he surely has a bright future at the club.

Aidan: It's not easy making your Premier League debut 15 minutes into a home game where your team is missing lots of players because of injury, and has a rejigged backline. Ignasi Miquel did that, though, and, coupled with Thomas Vermaelen, held Liverpool at bay until he unfortunately hit his clearance against Aaron Ramsey's chest for one of the more bizarre own goals Arsenal conceded this year. Miquel would play at centre back against Shrewsbury, but would spend the rest of his time with the first team at left back. He was pretty good there; although there's some positional issues to work out, he has a handle of his limitations (pace, mainly), and is very good on the ball; against Swansea, he completed all 3 of his crosses. He's got good defensive instincts, especially at intercepting and nicking in to win the ball, much like Thomas Vermaelen. He's also useful at set pieces, being 6'4. He should go on loan next year, but don't be surprised to see Miquel become more of a bigger name in years to come.

Grade: Satisfactory

Paul: Over at Lookout Landing, another fine SBN blog (look at me, cross-promoting like a genius!) every spring training there's mention made of "The Pile". The Pile is the massive influx of relief pitchers that the Mariners bring in, in an effort to find one or two that don't suck. Sometimes it works and one or two don't suck, but most times The Pile ends up being a mass of anonymous bodies brought in, tried out, and either discarded outright or sent to High Desert to work on their stuff, never to be seen again. If Arsenal had a version of The Pile, Ignasi Miquel would be on it. He's been on the youth team since 2009, he's a higly regarded young player, but in only a handful of first team appearances, it's hard to really judge what kind of player he is, was, or could be. I think I'll start calling him Small Sample Size. IgnaSSSi Miquel.

Grade: Seems like a nice kid.

Thomas: Ignasi Miquel holds a special place in my heart for allowing me to make fun of journalists who call him "Miguel." Honestly, it's not that hard to remember that his name has a Q in it, is it? Anyway, he didn't really play that much, so it's hard to analyze his performance. He played a little fullback during The Crisis, and I believe he started in central defense at some point also, but I don't really remember. I could look that up, but this is more symbolic of his season: sure, he was there, but I'm not quite sure where there was. He did well enough when he played that I don't remember screaming at him through my television, but not well enough to become a regular part of the team. He may be good in the future, and will probably be loaned or something next year. Stop asking me questions about Ignasi Miquel now.

Grade: I guess

Ted: Ignasi Miquel has been a great defender for the Arsenal youth and reserve setup for quite some time now. His work in the League Cup this year was mostly solid, but it's hard to say how his form in the league was, as he was played out of position at left back for most of his appearances. Granted, his first appearance was in the season-opening loss to Liverpool, where he conceded the opener by kicking a clearance off of Ramsey's chest in a bit of a cluster[fun]. The main concern I have about Miquel is his pace; when he gets turned around, he looks a bit in trouble at times. The modern Premier League defender, especially in a system like Arsenal's, requires some pace, unless they're Per Mertesacker, and Miquel hasn't quite reached that level of positional sophistication yet, as far as we know. I think he could, though.

Grade: a small sample size C-, but did okay in League Cup.

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