NEW loan star Jay Emmanuel-Thomas aims to make an instant impact at Blackpool – just like he did at Arsenal.
The midfielder was signed up on his second day of training at the London club ... as a seven year old.
Emmanuel-Thomas was spotted playing for his dad's team by a Gunners scout, who invited him for training.
"On the second day they asked me to sign a contract and I've been there ever since," said the powerfully-built 18-year-old, who is on the fringes of the first team.
Thomas has come to Blackpool to prove to Arsene Wenger that he can hack it at first-team level.
He was on the bench for Arsenal's 3-0 win at Portsmouth late last season but has yet to make a first-team bow for the Premier Leaguers.
His second-half appearance for the Seasiders in Tuesday's home draw with Derby was his first ever in League football.
"It was great and I enjoyed it," he said. "I've come to Blackpool to prove that I can play against men who are older and perhaps stronger than me, and that I can handle myself without any problems.
"Hopefully it will be good for me and will help me improve. The highlights of my career so far have been winning the Youth Cup against Liverpool and getting on the bench at Portsmouth.
"I love being at Arsenal and Arsene Wenger is definitely one of the best managers around.
"He watches the youth team training sessions and if he sees something he likes he will say 'well done', so at least you know you are doing something he is looking for."