Tolu Arokodare is not yet at Bundesliga level and that is the assertion of Horst Heldt, the general manager of Cologne where the Nigerian attacker is currently playing on loan.
Arokodare on a season-long loan from Valmieras FK after registering 15 goals and two assists in 16 Latvian Higher League matches last term has played only two Bundesliga games.
The Nigerian ace, however, played as a substitute in those two matches, clocking 27 minutes against Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Mönchengladbach before the international break.
And now, Arokodare who recently revealed that he is trusting the process and taking it one step at a time as he targets his first Bundesliga start must improve, according to Heldt.
“Tolu Arokodare is learning a lot at the moment, it has to be said,” Heldt told Goal. “He caused a furore in Latvia, rising from the ashes like a Phoenix and causing us to take notice.
“He is still a young player at 19 and he has the qualities to develop. At 19 he still needs time though. We tend to play with one man up front, so his challenge is to put himself in a position to be given more playing time.
“I just spoke about Sebastian [Andersson], who is developing well. Tolu has to do the same. He has played already and I am sure that if he keeps working as hard as he has been then he will add something to our side.”
Heldt, however, reserved praise for some rare qualities Arokodare has shown in training. He continued: “He has qualities that aren’t easy to find; he is strong in the air and hard to dispossess.
“He has to refine those skills at Bundesliga level, but that is the kind of normal process that players adjust to through working hard in training and getting time on the pitch. He is doing that, he is eager to learn and I am sure he will develop well.”
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