London, UK : English soccer team Arsenal F.C.has signed nine-year-old Jayden Adetiba, who they discovered in South Africa. Nigeria-born Adetiba signed a deal with the Gunners, after spending five weeks on trial, under the watch of the club’s academy bosses.
The wonderkid, who has lived in the UK previously, has spent most of his life in South Africa, where he played for SuperSport United Soccer School.
Jayden and his family previously lived in the United Kingdom before moving to Sunningdale in Cape Town, and now they’re back in England for good.
The young striker started making waves at the age of three.
Jayden first played for Sunningdale FC and later joined the SuperSport United Soccer School in the Southern Suburbs.
The Grade 5 pupil says he hopes to play for Arsenal’s first team some day.
“Cristiano Ronaldo and Alex Iwobi are my heroes. Ronaldo because of his hard work, and Iwobi because he was at the Arsenal Academy at the age of seven and now plays for the first team.
“My message to others is: Don’t be afraid to dream big, that’s what my dad always tells me. Then work as hard as you can to chase that dream,” he says.
Adetiba’s father, John, shared an image of the youngster signing his deal on his Twitter account.
He wrote: “The little man joins the big club!!”
“I thank God and my parents for this. I am very happy. I train three times a week at the academy and we have a match at the weekend. The amazing thing is, I have always been an Arsenal fan and I will work hard every day to make the first team.”, the nine-year-old said:
Footballing talent seems to run in the family, with his older brother having spent three years at Blackburn Rovers’ Academy.
Jayden’s older brother spent three years at the Blackburn Rovers Academy and recently signed with Ebbsfleet United Academy in Kent.
“Our middle son is also playing soccer and signed with a local team,” says John.
He says while it’s hard work managing Jayden’s new schedule, the move to the UK is worth it.
“It’s a lot of work and logistical planning to ensure Jayden is at the academy four times a week for training and matches, but we are all enjoying the experience.”