Arsenal 20-year-old gets new comeback date

James Olayinka with Southend United (Photo via SouthendUnited.co.uk)
James Olayinka with Southend United (Photo via SouthendUnited.co.uk)

Arsenal loanee James Olayinka still needs at least another week of training before he can join matches, according to Southend United boss Mark Molesley.

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 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

Since extending his loan with Southend United in January, James Olayinka has been working on getting back to full fitness to try and help the team avoid relegation.

Following a spell of rehabilitation back in North London, the midfielder returned to Southend and rejoined training recently. However, he remains absent from manager Mark Molesley’s matchday squads for the time being.

Molesley explained that the 20-year-old still needs at least another week in training to be ready for matches again.

“James joined in with team training again on Monday but he’s got to get a full week’s work minimum before he’s back playing,” Molesley said.

“This week will be a big week for him to get those building blocks in place and putting him in with a chance of playing. If it’s not this weekend he’s back then it will definitely be the week after that he will be pushing to involved.”

That could see Olayinka back to face Oldham Athletic on Saturday, 6th March. If not, they host Tranmere on Tuesday 9th and Stevenage on Saturday 13th. Regardless, it looks like he’ll be back playing again within the fortnight.

Southend have just about dragged themselves out of the relegation zone, but the teams below have games in hand and there’s still plenty of work to do to stay up. They’ll hope Olayinka can provide a boost to keep them in League Two.