Semi Ajayi
Semi Ajayi

Semi Ajayi Speaks On Why He Left Arsenal 

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Semi Ajayi has revealed why he left Arsenal after playing two years for the Gunners following his move from Charlton in 2012.

The Rotherham defender came through the ranks at Charlton Athletic where he signed his first professional contract in January 2012, before moving to Arsenal.

He made his debut for the London side's reserves in September 2013, after impressing as a trialist with the club.

Although he never featured for the senior side, he has stated that he developed at Arsenal, but needed to leave to put into practice what he had learned from the more senior players.

“I learned a lot, especially at Arsenal,” the Nigerian international told Sky Sports.

“I feel like my game came along leaps and bounds and I was around world-class players, training with them day in, day out. I had great coaches and great facilities and I was just a sponge when I was there, soaking in all of the information that I could and trying to improve as much as I could.

“I left because I got to the stage where I did want to try and get some first-team games under my belt, but by no means would I say that the two years I spent there were unsuccessful to me because I developed a huge amount in that time.”

Ajayi moved to Cardiff but wasn't able to cut it, so he was loaned out to AFC Wimbledon, Crewe Alexandra and current club, Rotherham United, before signing permanently in 2017.

The 25-year-old helped the Millers gain promotion to the English Championship, via the playoffs and has since become a vital member of the team.

His form for the Championship side, saw Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, selecting him for Nigeria's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles; making his debut as a substitute in the 3-0 win.

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