Ejeheri gets Ali’s praise


Arsenal U21 coach Mehmet Ali has singled out 2023 Flying Eagles invitee Ovie Ejeheri for praise after his side’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough U21s in a Premier League 2 game.

Ismeal Kabia converted from close range six minutes into the second half to secure three points for the Gunners.

Arsenal U21s were missing eight regular players who are with the first team in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for a warm weather training camp ahead of their Premier League game against Crystal Palace next weekend.

Denmark U17 international of Nigerian descent, Chido Obi-Martin received his second U21s call-up as a result of the absences and entered the game as a substitute in the closing stages of the games.

Ejeheri made a couple of brilliant saves to prevent Middlesbrough from finding the back of the net.

In the first half, the Nigerian goalkeeper made himself big and diverted Max Howells’s close range effort for a corner and in the ninth minute of added time in the second half, he made a terrific save as he clawed a header away to preserve his clean sheet.

Mehmet Ali was pleased with Ejeheri’s distribution and the outstanding save he made right at the end.

“At 1-0 with 10 minutes added on he makes a big save from the corner, but also his bravery to take in the ball, be under pressure and show decision making to find the spare player but also know when to go over,” Mehmet told reporters.

“Our younger goalies can definitely learn from that.”

Arsenal, who have only lost one game in the PL2 this season, are fourth in the standings with 23 points from ten matches.