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Arteta Promotes Nigerian Midfielder To Arsenal First Team Training

Arteta Promotes Nigerian Midfielder To Arsenal First Team Training

Mikel Arteta promoted Nigerian defensive midfielder Tim Akinola and five other academy prospects to first-team training ahead of Saturday’s game with Leicester City.

Arsenal have returned to form with six wins in eight games and Arteta is keen to see what his youth players can offer – especially after the emergence of Emil Smith Rowe and Buakyo Saka.


Arteta has now taken things a step further by providing some members of the Under-23s side with a chance to test themselves against the first team.

Also Read: ‘He Is A Special Player’- Rohr Craves For Ighalo’s Return To Super Eagles


And among those promoted to take part in Thursday’s first team training is Akinola.

The 20-year-old has already been around for quite a bit with loan spells at Mansfield, Lincoln City and Huddersfield.

He is brilliant in tight spaces with the ball at his feet and he can also pick a pass.

With Granit Xhaka out injured and Arsenal progressing to the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup he will hope that impressing in training could lead to first-team appearances.

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  • GLORY 1 month ago

    I suggest Rohr should get this player into the expanded list before it becomes “HAD WE KNOWN*.

  • Abdul Handsy 1 month ago

    I concur with you bro. If Rohr really want to start capping these English-nigerian eligible players the best way to do it is by approaching and capping them earlier before they become star because I noticed that the first national team invite they get always leave a big memory with them and it lingers and changing it will be difficult..

    I don’t think that this guy has been capped by England at any level at all and he had once said that he will fancy a call up to the Nigerian national team…

  • Coache 1 month ago

    It is not for Rohr ooopp. It is for the NFF to organise U-20/23 friendlies with Niger or Chad to say the least and cap all these prospects. Mix them with some very good home based players and voila

    It is that simple and this can be achieved during FIFA free Windows. Even Benin republic or Togo will serve. These are cheaper friendlies but in a country where leaders or Looters think of their pockets. This is a tall order.

  • _Akintola : too early to call_

    Even this early in his career, Tim Akintola, 20 years old, has been something of a journeyman player.

    Before joining Huddersfield Town in June 2019, Tim was at Lincoln City, where his progress was rewarded by breaking into the first-team squad in the EFL Trophy.

    During his time with Lincoln City, Tim also had a spell on loan with non-league side Lincoln United in January 2019.

    Having struggled to break into Huddersfield’s main team, even at one time being loaned to non-league outfit Bridgetown FC, he was eventually released.

    Arsenal took a gamble to sign him in August 2020. They saw an opportunity to develop a player who they paid nothing for (shrewd business if you ask me).

    The 20-year-old has already amassed over 30 appearances across Arsenal’s U23 and U21 sides and was a mainstay for the club at youth level last season.

    When I read the news that he is going to be promoted to the Arsenal main team, I was pleased for the youngster.

    That said, it is way too early in the day – I think – to talk about national team football for this budding centre midfielder.

    Yes he seems an exciting prospect but he needs to settle down, prove himself, prove his worth and develop his game first.

    A player who reportedly relishes making crunching challenges, Akinola also enjoys the creative side of the game and will push forward when the opportunity arises.

    Akinola, who is eligible to represent England or Nigeria at senior level will hope to raise the quality and standard of his game to such a level where either of these countries will come calling when the time is ripe.

    For that to happen, he needs to transition smoothly from youth football to Arsenal’s main team and stay there (like Bukayo Saka) without being loaned out to clubs in the much lower divisions.

    • Correction: the header and first paragraph should have the player’s name spelt as Akinola.

  • GLORY 1 month ago

    @ DEO while I agree with you that Akinola is quite lacking premiership football, but with an eye for potentially great player, I can see one from miles, even while still crawling. Ability to spot these talents from distance, is what will give Nigeria edge over England/others in terms of such player committing. Right there, at MK Dons, I mentioned Dele Alli about same time, John Fashanu did, for Nigeria to poach but what happened?, we waited for him to become premiership standard n eventually surrendered him to England. Same with Danjuma, Awoniyi, did his best sounding him out to Nigeria whilst playing together with him at NEC in the Dutch league but Nigeria again went same way of “WAITING TO LOSE AT MATURITY”. That whole idea of waiting is faulty, on the ground that Nigeria truly lacks when faced with competition for players’ committment against well organized,rich countries like England, Germany, France, Holland etc. We only end up playing second fiddle or at beggers kneel for such players to sacrifice for their root.

    • Hi Glory,

      You have made very pertinent points to buttress your position on this matter.


  • GLORY 1 month ago

    @ DEO, it’s just a shame our league is in total shambles n will require a really good amount of years of some pragmatic investment/planning to measure up. So our hope for a solid SE as for now n the foreseeable future,is resting on players from these foreign league; quite saddly though. So our football authorities, while working on how to reposition our football league,must in the interim, strategize on how to blood potential, super talented foreign born players into the mix quickly, while still in their rough diamond age.