Arsenal have allowed Semi Ajayi to join Sunderland on trial.
The centre-back, who joined the Gunners from Charlton Athletic at the start of last season, featured as Sunderland’s U21 team played Norwich City yesterday.
Ajayi is out of contract at the end of the season and is unlikely to receive a new deal, with Isaac Hayden, Julio Pleguezuelo and Stefan O’Connor all considered better prospects.
Ajayi has trained regularly with the first-team since joining the club and has become increasingly involved in the first-team set-up this campaign. He played in the friendly against Boreham Wood and was also an unused substitute in the Premier League fixtures against Hull City, Stoke City and Newcastle United and the Capital One Cup defeat to Southampton.
However, despite his strength, Ajayi remains susceptible to quick attackers and hasn’t developed as anticipated. He has made nine appearances for the U21s this campaign and scored against Wolverhampton Wanderers in what could prove to be his final appearance for the club. Last season he played every game at that level following his arrival last September.
Ajayi is set to leave the club, whilst there was bad news regarding another defensive prospect yesterday, with Hayden undergoing ankle surgery, meaning he is likely to be out for several more weeks in what has already been an injury-disrupted campaign for the youngster.
Pleguezuelo has hardly featured this season because of injury problems of his own, but Arsene Wenger rates the Spaniard very highly, along with O’Connor, who made his first-team debut in the Champions League game against Galatasaray last month.