James Olayinka is likely to miss at least a month of football with an ankle injury, but Southend United may extend his loan spell anyway.

James Olayinka scores during the EFL Sky Bet League 2 match between Mansfield Town and Southend United at the One Call Stadium, Mansfield, England on 19 December 2020. Copyright: Ben Lumley
James Olayinka celebrates scoring during the EFL Sky Bet League 2 match between Mansfield Town and Southend United at the One Call Stadium, Mansfield, England on 19 December 2020. Copyright: Ben Lumley

Southend United manager Mark Molesley has confirmed Arsenal loanee James Olayinka has grade two ligament damage in his ankle, meaning he’ll miss four to six weeks of action for the side.

Olayinka’s initial loan spell expires this month, so it certainly seemed possible they might just let him return to Arsenal this month. However, Molesley isn’t ruling out the possibility of an extension, planning discussions with the Gunners.

“There’s ways around it and hopefully we will look to keep him around,” Molesley said. “We can try to exercise to keep him and then when he’s back fit he would already be registered.

“It’s certainly something for the two clubs to have a discussion about. James had some really good moments and I’m sure he’s keen to build on them, as we are as well.”

Olayinka made 16 appearances in midfield for Southend United before his injury, scoring three goals. The League Two side are having a poor campaign as a whole, but the Arsenal man often earned praise for his individual performances.

The team sit bottom of their division after 24 games, but they’re not too far behind the rest of the pack. Every detail could make the difference between League Two and non-league football, so they’ll want to make the right call on Olayinka.

Previous articleAlarm bells ring as Arsenal drop out of Champions League places
Next articleWhy Kieran Tierrney was missing for Arsenal’s win over Southampton
Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.