Young defender Joseph Olowu signed for Cork City on loan from Arsenal on Thursday, agreeing on a deal lasting until June.

Joseph Olowu with Arsenal (Photo via Instagram)
Joseph Olowu with Arsenal (Photo via Instagram)

Cork City announced the signing of Joseph Olowu on loan from Arsenal on Thursday afternoon. This confirms recent rumours we covered on the temporary transfer.

As we explained then, the League of Ireland’s transfer window doesn’t close until 22nd February 2020 for domestic transfers or 2nd March 2020 for foreign transfers. As a result, Olowu was free to make his move despite the general European deadline passing.

The other question to answer is over when Olowu returns. As the League of Ireland runs on a calendar-year format, staying to the end of their season would mean a missing the start of the 2020/21 campaign with Arsenal.

Instead, Olowu will rejoin his Arsenal teammates in June, at the end of the English season.

Olowu made 11 appearances for the Arsenal u23s before the move, starting seven times. He essentially had two good runs in the team – one at the start of the season and one just before he left – but from September to November he struggled to get games.

Part of that was down to injury, but personally, I thought he deserved to be playing a bit more often when fit. Konstantinos Mavropanos, in particular, blocked a lot of opportunities for Olowu before his own loan.

We’ll see how often Olowu plays with Cork City. It’s certainly good to get some experience of senior football though.

What does Olowu think of the move?

Joseph Olowu with Arsenal (Photo via Instagram)
Joseph Olowu with Arsenal (Photo via Instagram)

Speaking to the Cork City website, Olowu gave his thoughts on the transfer.

It’s a pleasure,” he said. “It was an exciting opportunity when I first heard it, and thought that it’d be good for me to further my footballing career.

“Neale explained to me the kind of football he wants to play – he wants to get it on the ground, play exciting football to get the fans on side, so that sounded good to me, to be honest.

“On a personal note, I want to get a lot of game time in and play as much football as possible. On a team basis, I want to help this team get into a good position and keep pushing on for the season.”

Olowu has the chance to make his debut later today (Friday), in a derby match against Shelbourne. Though the two teams aren’t local rivals, they have a rivalry based on their success in the early 2000s. The Arsenal defender is keen to get going.

“I always love a game against a big rival,” Olowu concluded. “I’m looking forward to the challenges, to get the fans onside, and hopefully have a great atmosphere for the opening game of the season.”

Reactions from the staff at Cork City

Cork City boss Neale Fenn (Photo via Sportsfile)
Cork City boss Neale Fenn (Photo via Sportsfile)

Olowu’s new manager Neale Fenn had some positive things to say about the on-loan defender, even if he did have to wait a little longer than planned to confirm it.

“It’s taken a while to get it over the line; we have just been awaiting international clearance for the last few days, so we are very pleased to have now received that,” Fenn said.

“We are very grateful to Arsenal for their help in getting this deal done. Joseph has been training with us for a while, he’s a centre back, he reads the game really well.

“Obviously from being at Arsenal, he’s very good on the ball which is something we like at this club. He’s quick and he’s strong so he’s got all the attributes you could ask for.”

Meanwhile, Cork City Chairman Declan Carey called it a ‘huge signing’ for the club. He also specifically thanked Arsenal for their help in getting it done.