You’ve read that right, former Lincoln City youth Tim Akinola has signed for Premier League Arsenal following his release from Huddersfield Town.
Akinola left the club when it was suggested he wasn’t going to be offered a professional deal, signing for Huddersfield Town. Akinola was part of the young Imps side that reached the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup a couple of years ago, and his performances at that level earned him a place on the bench for the club as we were beaten by Accrington Stanley in the Second Round of the Checkatrade Trophy in 2018/19.
He then went out on loan to Lincoln United, picking up the man of the match on his debut, but later joined the Terriers on trial. He made six appearances for Huddersfield’s under-19’s and six appearances for the under-17’s in that time, before they offered him a one-year deal, which saw him leave the Imps. “Tim has a lot of the abilities that fit the Club’s style of play, in particular, his work ethic and attitude to win the ball back in the middle of midfield,” said Leigh Bromby, Huddersfield’s academy manager, when Akinola signed. “During his trial period with us, his attitude to learn has been excellent and he knows that has to continue now.
Sadly, he didn’t break into their first team and was released at the end of the season, seemingly at a crossroads in his development. He’s now struck gold, signing for Arsenal as they push a recruitment drive that sees them bolstering their younger ranks in search of possible first-team prospects. Akinola’s move to the Gunners might be a surprise, but it isn’t a huge shock to see him getting another deal somewhere for those who saw him playing in the youth set up. His powerful presence and all-action style earned him plenty of fans and it was a shock when he left the Imps for nothing.
Who knows, Tim Akinola might be the modern-day Sam Clucas, the player we let get away who goes on to be a Premier League star.