Olayinka close to competitive debut after impressing Emery

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Last season was especially significant for James Olayinka as he gained his first experience of senior football.

The 18-year-old featured for Unai Emery’s side in the friendly against Al-Nasr and also trained with the squad on several occasions, especially during international breaks.

Olayinka also established himself as a regular in the U23 side before an injury disrupted his momentum a little.

The Hale End product is a lively presence in midfield who relishes bursting past opponents, although he isn’t especially strong physically.

Also capable of playing out wide or at right-back if required, Olayinka could be set for another landmark campaign as he looks to make his competitive debut for the first-team.

That could well come in the Europa League or the Carabao Cup, with Emery having been impressed with Olayinka’s excellent work rate.

It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Olayinka could be involved in the first-team’s pre-season plans, with Lucas Torreira away at the Copa America and Matteo Guendouzi involved in the U21 European Championship.

Olayinka is certainly far from the finished article and there have been times when his tendency to dwell on the ball have proven costly at U23 level.

Making your first-team debut is by no means a guarantee of future progress, as Charlie Gilmour and Julio Pleguezuelo, who have both been released, know all too well.

It could well be an exciting campaign ahead for Olayinka, however, with the Checkatrade Trophy also providing him with an opportunity to test himself against senior opponents.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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SharpasFc
SharpasFc

There is definitely a danger that playing can highlight your weaknesses as well as obvious strengths, but I wish him well this season.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Very hmm on this one. But fingers crossed

Me2
Me2

Talking about scraping the barrel…
This summer is going to be very depressing indeed.
I would rather say no transfers than say there is just 40 million to spend – for a top class player you are looking at 60 million plus..
I just cannot believe there is not more pressure to force kroenke out…

iGooner
iGooner

As long as the stadium tickets are snapped up and sponsors come in the Kroenke’s are here to stay for a long time. Deal with it.

Me2
Me2

I don’t give a fuck about it to be honest – I am just glad I have the sense and intelligence to not waste my money on buying tickets and overpriced merchandise that keeps the likes of Kroenke at the club. I am sure there are plenty here who ARE happy to spend their money hence why, as you say he will be around for a long time to come sucking the club dry…

Ko Aunglinn
Ko Aunglinn

Fucking KRONKE OUT ☹😠😡😡😠

TorontoGunner
TorontoGunner

Who the fook is this guy lmaoo jk just trynna keep us all entertained during this interlull

Mike-8
Mike-8

I wonder why westham gat more money to spend than arsenal

Ozil's vision
Ozil's vision

They’re West Ham, but we’re a bit Sp*rs at the moment. Hope Emery can help push us on. He does have his work cut out though

Naz
Naz

Another paste by numbers Jorge Bird article. I love the focus on our kids but all articles are basically the same format and content. Which in reality makes a lot of sense given our success with youth recently

Papa Large, big shot in North London
Papa Large, big shot in North London

You should demand a refund.

Scwibble
Scwibble

Dream scenario, we get rid of all deadwood e.g. elnenies and Mustafa etc. We buy two WC players for torreira money and field the rest of the gaps with youth prospects like Nelson, Saka, Niles. I’d really like to see that, we have holding and Bellerin as a benchmark for them. Iwobi does his bit but isn’t effective enough consistently. Need an injection of youth and new players,it’s the only way for us now and it might not be so bad.

btw
btw

These youth prospects all look the same. And why are they standing around with the sprinklers running?

Papa Large, big shot in North London
Papa Large, big shot in North London

I thought playing in the sprinklers was an old school Aussie kid thing, apparently it’s universal. They’ll catch their death with the English weather.

Devlin
Devlin

Wow, you responded to my request about him. Thanks jeorge. I guess if you just ask, you shall receive. I just wanted to know because he is being monitored by Nigeria and there were rumors around Nigerian football circles of him been given an opportunity in the Afcon warm-up games. Last month I was in Lagos and they are monitoring a lot of young players in england who qualify for Nigeria, and he was one of the players high up on that list.

I'm 14 again
I'm 14 again

He’ll probably play for his country eventually. For now, I don’t see why they need him.