Arsenal teen expects Stevenage spell to toughen him up

Jack Jebb

Jack Jebb - Credit: Archant

Arsenal’s teenager creative midfielder Jack Jebb is hoping his loan spell with Stevenage will help him add some steel to his game.

Having been given pointers to improve from Gunners’ World Cup winners and boss Arsene Wenger, the 19-year-old is at Boro for an initial month long stay to continue his development and help Stevenage to league points along the way.

Jebb, an England age group international who has a mean free-kick in his locker, joined Graham Westley’s first-team playing squad last week and made his senior debut as an 56th minute substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 League Two win over Accrington Stanley at the Lamex Stadium.

Jebb, an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at Portsmouth’s Fratton Park, met the media this lunchtime and said: “It’s been a good experience, I came in last Thursday, all the lads have got on with me well and given me a warm welcome, it was good to get my first game on Saturday and a good experience to be on the bench against Portsmouth with a big crowd.”

In just a week in League Two football, Jebb has already noticed a marked difference in the senior game to what he is used to.

“The big difference is the physicality, there’s more tackles, with the 21s with Arsenal it’s more about passing the ball and Stevenage is more physical,” he said.

“Intensity of training here is bang on. Like today, tackles were flying about – it’s completely different to Arsenal, it’s good.

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“[I’m here to] just get a few league games under my belt really, get a bit of experience at League Two and work on the other side of my game, the tackling and physical side, to progress my game.”

Jebb’s ultimate goal is to make the grade with the Gunners, he has trained with the Arsenal first team and been given advice from senior players such as Mikel Arteta and ex-German international World Cup winner Per Mertesacker.

“They say keep working at it, keep your head down, do extra after training to work on your bad bits, work on your good bits still,” he said.

“The more experienced ones like Mikel Arteta and Mertesacker are good role models.

“You never know really what the future holds, I’m obviously going to aim for the best, but if not then just work my hardest to see where I can get to.”

Jebb has the ability to sweep home a free-kick or two, something the Boro faithful will be keen to see in his time at the Lamex Stadium.

“I practice them all the time, every week I practice my free-kicks,” he said.

“I scored a few over the last couple of seasons, my best one was in the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.”

However, he is yet to warn off his Stevenage team-mates when a set-piece opportunity arrives outside of the box, adding: “I haven’t said to them, but when it comes to it hopefully I’ll take it.”