Arsenal have shocked many fans by moving to sign 19-year-old midfielder Tim Akinola despite his inauspicious recent career.
Akinola was released by Huddersfield Town and was even sent to Brighouse Town in the Northern Premier League Division One North West.
According to The Athletic, Per Mertesacker and Lee Herron were behind the decision to gamble on Akinola who will join Arsenal’s Under-23s.
Somewhat unusually, Arsenal didn’t hand Akinola a trial but instead snapped him up.
What do Arsenal see in Tim Akinola?
The Gunners are making a concerted effort to look to development players and focus on improving players through their academy sides.
Central midfielder Akinola was heralded when he arrived at Huddersfield for his natural talent and work ethic – a pretty potent combination.
But the truth is that beyond a few YouTube clip videos showing his best skills, we don’t have a lot to go on when it comes to the new boy.
However, if things do work out, Akinola is able to represent both England and Nigeria at international level, which doubles his chances of making a mark at a World Cup one day.
How have fans reacted to the signing of Tim Akinola?
As you might expect, Arsenal fans aren’t quite sure what to make of the signing.
While some supporters have been a little sceptical of his track record, others have stressed, rightly, that the lines between success and failure in football are fine and that with the right development Arsenal may have a star on their hands.
One clip that is doing the rounds shows Akinola making a fierce tackle, reminiscent of Patrick Vieira, so Arsenal fans can always hope…
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