Tuesday 11 December 2018

Arsenal sign up highly-rated nine-year-old to join club academy

New Arsenal signing Jayden Adetiba.
New Arsenal signing Jayden Adetiba.

Liam Twomey

Arsenal have added to their youth ranks by signing a nine-year-old who impressed academy staff during a five-week trial in South Africa.

Jayden Adetiba, who was born in Nigeria and has lived in the UK, is an Arsenal fan and was pictured signing youth terms by his father John, with the image subsequently posted on Twitter.

"The little man joins the big club!!" Adetiba’s father wrote alongside the picture of his son sitting at a table in front of the Arsenal crest in a Gunners shirt.

Adetiba has spent most of his life in South Africa and has been playing for the SuperSport United Soccer School, but he has still maintained a keen interest in Arsenal.

"I thank God and my parents for this," Adetiba told The Sun. "I am very happy. I train three times a week at the academy and we have a match at the weekend.

"The amazing thing is, I have always been an Arsenal fan and I will work hard every day to make the first team."

Adetiba cites 22-year-old Nigeria international Alex Iwobi as the example he wants to follow at Arsenal, and also idolises Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Ronaldo because of his hard work, and Iwobi because he was at the Arsenal academy at the age of seven and now plays for the first team," he added.

Adetiba’s two older brothers are also promising footballers, with the oldest recently signing for Ebbsfleet United Academy and the other joining a local team.

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