Nigerian defender Semi Ajayi has revealed why he left the Premier League side Arsenal for Cardiff City after just two seasons at the Emirates.
Ajayi, the promising academy product who left Arsenal in 2015 and joined Cardiff City has revealed he was in search of first-team football. The 26-year-old revealed he was spotted by the Gunners while playing for Nigeria at the U-21 Toulon tournament in France in 2013. He admitted he signed for the north London side because of the quality of the club's academy.
Ajayi could not break to Arsenal's first team and ended up quitting after former boss Arsene Wenger couldn’t guarantee him a place in the starting 11.
"In fact, I got close to the first team. At one stage, I was the first understudy behind Mertesacker and Koscielny but they then bought Gabriel Paulista in January," he said.
"Arsene Wenger was very honest with me in that he said he wanted me to stay and develop but he couldn’t offer me first-team football at that point."
The defender, who currently plays for Championship side West Brom made his senior debut for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles in 2018.