There was some positive news for Tim Akinola this week, with the midfielder receiving his first international callup of any description.
The midfielder was named in the Nigeria U23 squad for the second leg of their Africa Cup of Nations play-off against Tanzania.
With the two sides level at 1-1 following the first leg, Akinola will hope to make a significant impact if he is called upon to make his debut.
Akinola is currently on a season-long loan at National League club Chesterfield, where he has recently started to make an impact.
It was felt that Akinola is capable of playing in a higher division, perhaps League Two, but after enduring an injury-hit end to last season on loan at Dundee United, he needed time to regain his sharpness.
Given that he is 21 years old, it seems likely that a decision on Akinola’s long-term future at Arsenal will have to be made within the next couple of years and he faces a significant challenge if he is to succeed at the club in the long-term.
However, Akinola has developed well since his surprise arrival in 2020 and he is now much more disciplined, while he is capable of performing with greater consistency.
Achieving recognition from Nigeria at youth level is another step in the right direction and Akinola will hope that he will be able to push on even further at Chesterfield thereafter.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
A new backup for Partey (possibly)?
Nigerian jollof to the rescue
Congratulations Tim! Fantastic achievement.