Joel Ideho: Moving to a big club like Arsenal was amazing

Joel Ideho says it was amazing to learn that Arsenal were after him, given the size and history of the club and their Dutch connections.

Former Ajax youth winger Joel Ideho joined Arsenal over the summer, though he hasn’t had a completely smooth ride since then.

Hovering in an awkward position between the u18s and the u23s, Ideho often found it difficult to get minutes for either over the first few months of the campaign. However, he’s feeling a bit more settled right now after scoring his first goal earlier this month.

Speaking to the Arsenal matchday programme, Ideho revealed how his move to the club came about in the first place, and how he felt about the prospect of making the switch.

“I played a game in the Youth League against FC Midtjylland and chipped the keeper from 20 yards, and that’s when clubs started to show their interest in me,” Ideho told Arsenal (quotes via AllNigeriaSoccer).

“It’s always nice hearing that clubs have belief in your talent, but to find out that Arsenal were interested was amazing. I was so happy because Arsenal is such a big club with great history and they’ve had some iconic Dutch players over the years too.”

As for how his debut season is going so far, Ideho admits it hasn’t always been easy, but he’s getting there.

“The first few months of the season were difficult for me,” Ideho said. “I wasn’t playing many games and that was hard for me, especially in the middle of this pandemic, but I’m picking up more minutes now, finding my flow and making more friends too.

“Scoring my first goal for the club last week felt amazing, but now I’m just focused on scoring more, assisting more and helping the team in any way possible. That’s the most important thing.”

Ideho got another appearance in the FA Youth Cup at the weekend, coming off the bench, and that could represent a route to his first piece of silverware with the club.

The u18s have a strong side in the cup competition when the likes of Miguel Azeez and Catalin Cirjan drop down to help, so they have a chance. There’s a long way to go yet, though.

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