Former Chesterfield Midfielder Confirms Move To Middle East

Former Chesterfield loanee and Arsenal youngster Tim Akinola has completed a move to Qatari second-division side Al Bidda, as announced by his former club.

Rather bizarrely, the announcement comes after Akinola had already made his debut for his new club, where he impacted immediately and scored two goals to help his new side to a 4-1 victory.

Who Is Tim Akinola?

The 22-year-old started his career in the youth ranks at Lincoln City, where he made the bench in the EFL Trophy, but was never able to make an appearance for the club. The central midfielder then moved to Huddersfield but again failed to register a first-team appearance for the Terriers.

In the summer of 2020, Akinola was released by Huddersfield, however, fell firmly on his feet as he landed a contract at Arsenal without having a trial.

Going on to make several appearances in the Premier League 2 for the Gunners, the youngster was loaned out to Dundee United on deadline day in January 2022. Akinola’s Dundee United career didn’t start well, as he initially believed that he was the subject of interest from the Tangerine’s cross-town rivals Dundee.

Akinola made just one appearance for Dundee United, however was replaced at half-time in the fixture. Struggling to get back into the Tangerine’s starting eleven, an ankle injury picked up in training required surgery, leading to his loan spell being cut short.

Consistent Struggles?

Last season, Akinola was loaned out to Chesterfield and made 31 appearances for the Spireites in all competitions. However, Akinola once again failed to nail down a regular starting spot in Paul Cook’s side, as he played just 1,100 league minutes and struggled to compete with the likes of Ollie Banks and Mike Jones for a spot at the base of the midfield.

Writer’s View

Akinola is a talented footballer who has been unable to find regular minutes and confidence in the British system. A move to the Qatari second division will likely be lucrative, but it may also aid Akinola’s development if he can get a good run of games for Al Bidda.

While the Lincoln product’s stay may be for a short period, he could have the option to remain in the Middle East in countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia and earn himself more lucrative contracts.

Some people may see him as a sell-out or someone who doesn’t care as much as others about the love of the game, but I think that moving abroad is a very brave and respectable decision by a young man looking to secure his financial freedom in the long-term, whilst also aiding his development in the short-run.

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