Arsenal midfielder Olayinka 'relishing' his first taste of league football with the Cobblers

New loan signing James Olayinka is 'relishing' his first experience of playing competitive league football with the Cobblers after making the temporary switch from Premier League side Arsenal.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 2:17 pm
James Olayinka in action for Arsenal youngsters

Olayinka signed alongside West Brom striker Callum Morton on Monday and will spend the rest of the season trying to help Northampton win promotion out of Sky Bet League Two.

"I want to get a taste of men's football and league football and I want to get more experience because I can take that forward in my career," said Olayinka.

"I think they've got a good team here, they're doing well in the league and I know they want to fight for automatic promotion.

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"They press the ball, they play in the opposition's half, they play good football and score lots of goals so hopefully I can add to that.

"I'm relishing the challenge. It's always good to try new things, learn and gain more experience."

Olayinka has already played at the PTS this season after scoring for Arsenal U21s during the 1-1 draw in the EFL Trophy in August.

"I remember playing here earlier in the season," he added. "I thought it was a good game for both teams and it was really nice to score near the end, although (Sam) Hoskins scored a great goal to equalise!

"Hopefully I can score more goals on the pitch here."

Despite that outing at Sixfields though, many Cobblers fans will know very little about the teenage midfielder.

"I'm a box-to-box midfielder," he explained. "I'll get back and help defend for the team but I'll also get forward.

"I want to try and get the ball moving in the opposition's half and hopefully I'll score a few goals as well.

"I can play in the number 10 role and I'm also able to play deep midfield. If needed I could go out wide and I think I even played full-back in the game against Northampton earlier in the season."

Olayinka also revealed that manager Keith Curle was key in persuading him to join the club on loan.

"He played a big role in signing me," he said.

"I've seen what he's done with the team this season and I like what I saw. He has a plan for how I'll play in the team so hopefully I can execute that now."