Arsenal of England new signing, Tim Akinola has opened up on the targets he has in mind for his first season with The Gunners, as he admitted he would love to get a regular spot in their main team while also keeping himself on track for a national team call-up.
Megasportsarena.com gatheerd that, although he stopped short of stating categorically if he would choose England or Nigeria for his international future, Akinola admitted that national football is high on his mind, but he will concentrate for now on tying down a shirt at Emirates Stadium.
He went on to cite a number of players he is already styling his game after, both in England and Nigeria’s national teams, as he wants to become the best central midfielder of his generation; even as he aims to hit the ground running from the word go, starting with his debut for The Gunners’ youth squad in their EFL Trophy clash against League One side Ipswich Town.
Akinola, who is also eligible to represent Arsenal in the English Premier League, as he is classed as an under-21 player, stressed that he is open to representing Nigeria or England at full senior level, but kept mum on rising speculation that he is ready to snub an invitation to The Young Lions in order to keep himself eligible for the Super Eagles.
The 19-year-old lad’s international future has been up in the air since his recent transfer from Huddersfield Town to Arsenal, where he signed a two-year contract last week, but Super Eagles’ chief scout, Tunde Adelakun is said to have approached him in England to sound him out about the possibility of him joining the Nigerian team in the near future.
For now, though, Akinola, who has been likened to Chelsea’s French midfielder, N’Golo Kante, said he wants to settle down to life at Arsenal and begin making a name for himself and join the rank of icons at Emirates Stadium, then later think about the national team he would play for.
Akinola told allnigeriasoccer.com: “I haven’t been called up for either of them at the moment. So I haven’t really given it a thought until that time comes then we will have to see but I am born and raised in Nigeria so that says a lot.
“Truly my targets are to make my Premier League debut this season, coming and make a name for myself. Arsenal believe in their youth and they have a lot of players who have broken into the first team at a young age so I took that into consideration.
“I get compared to the likes of Kante and few others defensive midfielders but I don’t like comparing myself to other players. I do study so many types of midfielders to see their best bits and add it on to my game; as I want to become the best centre midfielder. I want to become the best midfielder in this generation, simple and clear.”