Rhys eager to impress Wenger on Preston loan
IRELAND U21 cap Rhys Murphy hopes that he can do enough during his loan spell at League One side Preston to catch the eye of Arsene Wenger and earn a new deal at Arsenal.
Earlier this week, the forward joined Preston on loan until the end of the season and will go straight into their first-team squad -- a welcome sign of progress for the U21 cap who has yet to play for the first team at Arsenal.
Murphy, who scored on his Ireland U21 debut last year, faces an uncertain future as he's out of contract at the end of the season.
"I just need first-team games now to push on, and that is why I have come to Preston. My contract is up in the summer and this loan will help me one way or another," says Murphy, who played youth international football for England before declaring for Ireland last year.
"Hopefully I can put in some performances which will impress Arsene Wenger and earn me a new contract there. If my future doesn't lie at Arsenal, then being on loan might open another door somewhere else," added Murphy, who believes that his game has developed since having the opportunity to train with the Gunners' star names.
"When you are in the reserves at Arsenal, you sometimes get the chance to train with the first team," he says.
"You report in for training on a morning and every so often some of the reserves will get told to go to the pitch where the first-team players are working.
"It was great to get the nod to go and train alongside Robin van Persie, and just recently Thierry Henry has been back.
"Last season, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri were there. Working with players like that is a great boost to the young lads.
"Even when you weren't needed to work with the first team, training with the Arsenal reserves was of a very high standard."