Arsenal confirmed the permanent departure of 21 year-old midfielder

James Olayinka has been confirmed as joining League One side Cheltenham, the official Arsenal website has stated.

The 21 year-old joined the club as a seven year-old, playing at each youth level, but never made a senior appearance despite sitting on the bench in the Europa League back in December 2019.

Olayinka will now get the chance to battle it out for a regular role for the League One club, after impressing for our Under-21 side in recent weeks.

The pathway to our first-team has seemed a bit out of reach for the London-born youngster, with a number of players ahead of him in the pecking order, but we wish him well for his future. confirmed his Deadline Day move today, whilst the club is also believed to be actively seeking a new addition to their midfield after injuries to both Mo Elneny and Thomas Partey in the senior side.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will include a buyback clause in the deal or not, something that I wish we would for the sale of any and all youngsters who have shown promise, but I feel like it would appear unlikely that Olayinka would reach the level expected of a future Gunner unfortunately.



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  1. Good luck to him! Started the season well for the youth side. You’d think at least 1 of Patino and Azeez is going to be able to make the step up into our midfield at some point. With Lokonga/Viera/Odegaard/ESR (Luiz if we add him) all quite young themselves you can see why he might not want to sign an extension (1 year left) at 21 so it’s a deal that makes sense all round.

  2. Rather surprised to learn of this move as the young lad has really impressed recently.Cheltenham could well be a stepping stone to greater things, let’s hope so.

  3. So another relative unknown , outside our club, has failed to make the grade and has moved on to a lower club. This happens all the time at big clubs, but is hardly news, imo.

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