Mikel Arteta includes 20yo in training ahead of potential League Cup call-up

Tim Akinola in training with Arsenal (Photo via Akinola on Instagram)
Tim Akinola in training with Arsenal (Photo via Akinola on Instagram)

Mikel Arteta has been taking a close look at Tim Akinola ahead of a possible inclusion in Wednesday’s League Cup squad, according to a report.

Tim Akinola with the Arsenal u21s (Photo via David Price on Twitter)
Tim Akinola with the Arsenal u21s (Photo via David Price on Twitter)

AllNigeriaSoccer reports that Mikel Arteta has been watching Tim Akinola closely this month ahead of a possible first-team call-up for the AFC Wimbledon clash.

Akinola was in first-team training again on Thursday, the latest in a string of training opportunities for him.

The 20-year-old has been a regular for the Arsenal u23s since joining from Huddersfield Town, making 27 appearances in just over a year and recently returning from injury in a 3-1 win over Manchester United.

There’s also the fact that Arsenal aren’t as stacked in midfield as they’d like to be.

Mohamed Elneny is an injury doubt, as he’s only just returning to full training after his hamstring problem. Granit Xhaka is still suspended.

Albert Sambi Lokonga, Thomas Partey, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are likely to start the games on either side of the cup clash.

Charlie Patino is reportedly likely to get a squad call-up to the bench, but Akinola would be another option if Arteta wants a defensive midfielder on the bench in place of Elneny.

ANS also confirm that Akinola’s current deal expires at the end of 2022, and Arsenal have a two-year option to extend.