Tag Archives: Semi Ajayi

Akpom and Ajayi set to leave Arsenal after Nigeria declaration

Rumours circulated yesterday that Arsenal youth players Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi had both decided to make themselves available to play for Nigeria. It is likely that both will be called up to the Super Eagle’s potential January friendly.

Having failed to make the 2015 African Cup of Nations, Nigeria have looked to refresh their squad. Out with the old, in with the new. Akpom and Ajayi are set to be joined by former Arsenal trainee Chuks Aneke – now playing for S.V. Zulte Waregem in Belgium – in the new look Nigeria squad.

This decision by Akpom and Ajayi is likely to see there Arsenal career’s ended before it has even started.

For a long time, Arsene Wenger has not been a fan of the African Cup of Nations. Held every two years, it takes players away from clubs for 6-8 weeks. It then usually takes the club another few weeks to get players match fit again after the tournament – inadequate training regimes and the climate result in players losing fitness during the tournament.

Interestingly, in Arsenal’s current squad, they do not have a single African player. This shows a conscious decision by the club to not be disadvantaged by the African Cup of Nations by not having any African players in their side.

Now if a player was a global star – Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Nwankwo Kanu – you could take the hit on the chin. Lose the player for 2 months, knowing you get his talent for the rest of the year.

But if the player is a bit part team member – Gervinho, Alex Song, Obi Mikel – it is just not worthwhile carrying him, and losing him for key periods of the season where he can be rotated in.

Nigeria have failed to make the 2015 competition. By 2017, Akpom and Ajayi could both be key members of Arsenal’s first team squad, providing quality back up to the starters. It is unlikely that Wenger will be too happy with both swanning off to Africa for 2 months just as the season is hotting up.

The likely solution? Ajayi and Akpom will be moved on, and replaced by 2 players who won’t leave every 2 years for 2 months.

At this point, neither youngster might not realise the consequence of their decision to declare for Nigeria, but I am sure in this summer, they will soon find out.

Keenos

 

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Semi Ajayi – The New Sol Campbell

In the last few hours on Twitter, former Charlton academy graduate, Semi Ajayi has announced he has joined Arsenal. Here at SheWore, we spoke to another former Charlton academy graduate on what to expect.

We have been told to expect big things from the big man. At 6 foot 4, being good in the air is a given, and that was the first thing we have been told. He is very good in the air. ‘Massive’ was the exact quote.

Anyone who watched our youths in pre-season, especially against Leyton Orient, would have marked our defence down as the weak link. Young Isaac Hayden performed OK, but Daniel Boateng looked out of his depth against the League One side. Whilst Hayden, at 18 has time on his hands, the signing of Ajayi will probably see the phasing out of Boateng.

Arsenal were especially exposed at corners and in the air against Leyton Orient. Ajayi should solve that problem. His height does not mean he is a bean pole. We have been informed that he has the strength to go with it, and at 19, he will only get stronger.

Picture by @ArsenalKieran - http://www.flickr.com/photos/goonerpower

Picture: @ArsenalKieran – http://www.flickr.com/photos/goonerpower

 

Most surprisingly about the Crayford born Nigerian is his ability on the ball. The first thing we were told about him was that he is ‘very comfortable’. It is very early to make comparisons before we have seen him, but with his height, strength and ability on the ball, he has the potential to eclipse what Sol Campbell did for the club.

A player who also makes very few errors, it is hard not to get too excited about the youngster. With what we have been told about him, he could have a huge future if he applies himself. It would not be too much of a surprise to see him make his Arsenal 1st team debut as early as the 3rd round League Cup tie against WBA.

On a negative note, most people remember the fanfare of Kyle Bartley signing from Bolton. Big things were expected of him, but he was sold to Swansea last season, where he made 1 league appearance before being loaned to Birmingham City this season.

Will Semi Ajayi be the next Sol Campbell? Or will he go the same way as Kyle Bartley? Wait and see.

Edit:Β Thanks to : for the brilliant picture.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/goonerpowerΒ andΒ https://www.facebook.com/KieranCPhoto

Keenos