James Olayinka signs professional contract with Arsenal

Midfielder James Olayinka has become the latest Arsenal youngster to sign professional terms.

The 18-year-old, who usually operates as a deep-lying midfielder but can also play out wide, has stepped up to become an important player for the U23s this season, making 12 appearances at that level.

A product of the club’s Hale End academy, Olayinka is not especially strong physically but he is very energetic and has trained with the first-team. He featured in the FA Youth Cup final defeat to Chelsea last season.

With Olayinka having signed professional terms, there are six remaining second-year scholars whose futures remain uncertain – Folarin Balogun, Mark McGuinness, Vontae Daley-Campbell, Matthew Smith, Bayli Spencer-Adams and Zak Swanson.


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