The number of Nigerians in Arsenal’s main team continues to increase, as the London club has given a young Nigerian defender, Marc Bola, who has England and Nigeria nationalities, a professional contract.
The 18 year-old defender helped Arsenal’s under-18s to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals this term, as well as stepping up to become a regular for the club’s under-21s.
In Europe, he was part of the under-19s side to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League earlier in the season. Arsenal recently signed Golden Eaglets’ duo of Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze.
Already in Arsenal’s main team are Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom, who is however on loan. Super Falcons’ striker, Asisat Oshoala, recently joined Arsenal Ladies from Liverpool.
In announcing the elevation of Bola to the main team, Arsenal said: “Everyone at Arsenal looks forward to Marc’s continued development at the club.”
The Nigerian youngster himself tweeted his delight.
— Marc Bola (@MarcBola27) April 7, 2016
“Pleased on Signing My First Professional Contract At My Dream Club,” he said. The 18-year-old defender, helped the U18s reach the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup this season, has come through the Arsenal Academy.
He was recently promoted to the Arsenal U21s.
The central defender or left back is athletic and very good in the air. Bola was an ever-present in the under-18s’ back line last season.
The Arsenal official website said of Bola: “Equally adept on the left or in the heart of defence, the powerful teenager was often called up to the under-21s as cover and he caught the eye with several encouraging performances for Steve Gatting’s side.
“The lively defender has shown plenty of promise so far and will be hoping to continue his development by featuring for the under-21s on a more regular basis this term.”
Two other Nigerian youth players are in the Arsenal youth team, including Chiori Johnson and Tolaji Bola, both defenders.
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