With the injury ravaged backline of Arsenal, we have seen the youth defenders quite frequently this season. Under 21 captain Isaac Hayden, Nigerian Semi Ajayi and Stefan O’Connor have all trained with the first team this season.
However, according to the latest reports, despite these signs the young Nigerian Ajayi may be on the way out of the club. The youngster is out of contract next summer and has fallen out of favour in the Arsenal youth system.
Last season he trained regularly with the first team in build up to Champions League games and Premier League fixture and made his first appearance for the first team in the summer during pre-season.
This season however, he has yet to make an appearance for the Gunners’ senior squad, even though Arsenal are using youngsters to ease their injury problems. Hector Bellerin has been impressive in his few outings, and Isaac Hayden turned in a solid performance during the 2-1 loss in the Capital One Cup to Southampton. Ajayi was also named on the bench for that game, but was an unused substitute.
And in the build up to the game against Galatasaray in the Champions League, Stefan O’Connor trained with the first team alongside Hayden, but Ajayi was not called up for training.
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Out of contract at the end of the season and with no talks about an extension so far, Ajayi’s hopes of breaking into the Gunners main team appears to be in doubt. As such, we may expect to see the defender leave for clubs where he will get more playing time.