Southend United decided to extend James Olayinka’s loan deal to the end of the season on deadline day, in spite of his current injury.

James Olayinka with Arsenal (Photo via Olayinka on Instagram)
James Olayinka with Arsenal (Photo via Olayinka on Instagram)

As we covered last week, Southend United had a difficult late decision to make on James Olayinka. After coming to the end of his loan spell with the club in January, they needed to decide whether to extend, with the added complication of a four-to-six week injury.

The club made the call on deadline day to hold onto the Arsenal midfielder. They extended his loan to the end of the season and reported that he’s currently making ‘good progress’ on his ankle ligament injury.

The League Two side were clearly keen on Olayinka while he was fit. He hardly missed a game up until his injury, and all 16 of his appearances were starts.

Still, it can’t have been an easy decision to extend his contract when they know he probably won’t play until March. Southend United remain rooted to the bottom of the table, three points away from safety despite playing more than the clubs they’re chasing.

Olayinka should therefore take the extension as a compliment, with the club showing they believe in him to help them out of that situation when he returns.