Arsenal will either loan or sell James Olayinka this summer, with no plans to keep him around for the coming campaign.

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

All Nigeria Soccer report that Arsenal are planning to loan or sell James Olayinka before the end of the summer window. The player has been offered out to teams in the English lower leagues, and he’s not in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the coming campaign.

As Olayinka is no longer eligible for the u21 list at Arsenal, he’d have to be registered in the main Premier League squad if he stuck around.

That wouldn’t be a huge issue, as he’d qualify as homegrown, and Arsenal aren’t stacked with homegrown players. But it underlines that he’s reaching the point where he shouldn’t spend another season in u21 football.

After loans to Northampton Town in 2019/20 and Southend United in 2020/21, Olayinka probably would have gone out again last season if not for injury.

The unfortunate timing of Olayinka’s injury in 2021 meant he returned to fitness right after the summer transfer window closed. Then, he picked up another injury in mid-January.

On both occasions, Olayinka had no realistic opportunity to make a move late in the transfer window because he wasn’t fit. So he made 16 youth appearances last season instead.

James Olayinka of Southend in action during Sky Bet League Two match between Southend and Barrow AFC at Roots Hall in Southend, UK - 9th January 2021. Copyright: Holly Allison / TPI / Shutterstock
James Olayinka of Southend in action during Sky Bet League Two match between Southend and Barrow AFC at Roots Hall in Southend, UK – 9th January 2021. Copyright: Holly Allison / TPI / Shutterstock

This time around, Arsenal are clearly looking to get a move secured early.

Olayinka’s current deal reportedly expires in 2023, so a loan move doesn’t make much sense on the surface.

But Arsenal could look to extend the midfielder’s deal before loaning, or they may just choose to loan the player to the end of his contract for the good of his career.

That’s not unheard of, with Jordan McEneff joining Shelbourne FC on loan in February before his release by Arsenal this summer. Arsenal should still be due a compensation fee if McEneff joins a new club, and the same will apply to Olayinka.

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