Xavier Amaechi has explained that he left Arsenal because he didn’t feel like it was the right place for him to break into the team.
Back in the 2018/19 season, the two major wide talents in the Arsenal u23s were Bukayo Saka and Xavier Amaechi. The pair shone under Freddie Ljungberg, only narrowly missing out on the Premier League 2 title in second place.
The two took very different pathways after that, with Saka fast-tracked to the first-team whilst Amaechi decided to leave for Hamburg.
Amaechi admits it was a big change, playing in senior football in Germany, particularly with his injury problems since then. But he feels he’s learning from the experience.
“I was playing 23s before I went to Germany so now it is faster, you have to make decisions,” Amaechi said.
“I watched a lot of games when I was injured so I feel more prepared. I have learned a lot and adapted quicker.”
As for why he choose to leave in the first place, Amaechi says he didn’t feel like the pathway was there for him at Arsenal.
“I could have stayed in the bubble but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” Amaechi continued. “I learned a new language, so I can speak a bit of German now, and it is all good for life.
“It isn’t about going somewhere that you’ll grow up. It is about going somewhere you can play.
“My sole purpose going to Hamburg was to play football because at Arsenal I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me to break in and get those minutes.”
Things haven’t quite gone to plan in Germany so far, mostly due to those injury problems. In another attempt to get things going, Amaechi moved out on loan to Bolton Wanderers this campaign.
After finally getting fit again, Amaechi scored on his first start against Cheltenham Town over the weekend.
That’s sure to get him in the good books of the home fans, and he followed it up with another start in an EFL Trophy win over Fleetwood Town in midweek.
It’s now about finding some consistency, and rediscovering what made him so exciting at youth level, but in senior football.
Not an easy task by any means, but Amaechi can take heart from his positive start to life with Bolton.