James Olayinka joined up with Arsenal’s first team on Tuesday, after the midfielder made his return from injury in the EFL Trophy.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: James Olayinka signs a new Arsenal contract at London Colney on January 23, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – JANUARY 23: James Olayinka signs a new Arsenal contract at London Colney on January 23, 2019, in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

James Olayinka made a few headlines over the summer, scoring for the first team against Colorado Rapids in Arsenal’s tour of the USA and playing an hour against Fiorentina. That didn’t really translate to much in the opening games of the new season though.

The 19-year-old started two of the first four matches for the academy, scoring once against Northampton Town, but you’d expect him to feature in all four given his first-team impact.

After that, Olayinka fell injured and spent the next two months out. He finally made his return to the pitch playing 67 minutes against Cambridge United in the dead rubber EFL Trophy game before the break, but he’s yet to come back into the u23 squad.

It looks like a return to the Premier League 2 is imminent though, with the midfielder joining first-team training on Tuesday.

There were a number of opportunities for young players given the situation with the international break. Matt Smith, Nathan Tormey, James Hillson and Zak Swanson joined the majority of the senior squad and Smith was reportedly particularly impressive.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.