Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player David Ajiboye:

Former Spurs teammate Samuel Shashoua on David Ajiboye: “ David always had huge potential. He was incredibly fast and a good dribbler. I’m really happy to see that it’s going well for him now. ”

On Tuesday evening David Ibukun Ajiboye helped Sutton United to make history, as they beat League One side Wigan Athletic on penalties, to reach the final of this seasons Papa John’s Trophy, for the first time in their history. The Londoner who was with Spurs as an Academy player, up until the age of 16, when the club would announce who their scholars were for the upcoming season, has been a key player for Sutton since he joined them. Ajiboye was part of a very talented Spurs Academy age group, one which included the likes of Marcus Edwards, Samuel Shashoua, Brandon Austin and Keanan Bennetts. David Ajiboye, who is a skilful winger who can also play as a centre-forward, signed scholarship forms with fellow Category One Academy side Brighton & Hove Albion, for the start of the 2015/16 season. Ajiboye made a number of competitive appearances for Brighton’s Under 18 side during his first season at the club and during his second season, but his best memory from those two seasons would surely have been scoring the winner against Arsenal, in a 2-1 away Under 18 Premier League South win.

The forward made seven competitive appearances for Brighton’s Under 23 side during the following 2017/18 season. He went out on loan during that 2017/18 season on two occasions, the first one being with non-League side Worthing. Then later on in the season David joined Millwall’s Under 23 side on loan. However, David Ajiboye was released by Brighton at the end of the 2017/18 season. He signed for previous side Worthing, who he had previously been on loan with during the season before. The 2018/19 season went really well for Ajiboye, who really showed his potential with the Isthmian Premier Division side, and he scored 16 league goals for them during that season, as well as more goals in the cup competitions. After his impressive debut season in senior football, the forward would have attracted the interest of a number of higher league clubs. However, for the start of the following 2019/20 season, he joined then National League side Sutton United. Ajiboye made a really good number of appearances for Sutton, during his first season with the club. In 2019/20 he made 37 league appearances for them, scoring four goals.

Sutton United made history during the following 2020/21 season, when they were promoted to the Football League, after winning the National League during that season. And Ajiboye played 39 league games for Sutton during that season, scoring five goals from out wide. And since the start of this season (2021/22) he has improved further, adapting really well to life in League Two. He has scored seven league goals from 31 appearances, and has provided three assists in the league, plus an additional one in the Carabao Cup. Ajiboye has made a really good impression on League Two football so far this season, and in addition to helping Sutton reach the final of the Papa John’s Trophy, they currently sit in fourth place in League Two, which is such a big achievement for Matt Gray’s side. There is quite a bit of a Spurs connection at Sutton as well, with defender Ben Goodliffe an old Spurs Academy teammate of David’s, while midfielder and former Chelsea youth team player Kenny Davis is a Spurs supporter. However, it is really good to see David Ajiboye doing so well for himself in the Football League.

The former Spurs Academy player, who now predominantly plays out on the right flank as a winger, is a very fast player with a lot of pace and skill to his game (I have seen David play on three occasions since he joined Sutton). He is very direct and inventive with the ball at his feet, and he showed this directness during his most recent Sutton appearance, against Wigan Athletic. While he is a player who is creative and who has a real eye for goal, as he has shown, he is also a real team player who works hard for the team, and his statistics have been impressive this season for someone who before this season had never played in the Football League before. Sutton’s top league scorer this season should be very proud of all that he has achieved in the game already as a 23 year old, and David Ajiboye has good potential to improve further as a player, and hopefully he will help Sutton win promotion to League One this season.

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