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Semi Ajayi: Why I decided against joining Ajax

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Image Credits: Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images, SkySports.

The centre-back has revealed the Dutch club were interested in his signing after impressing on trials and explained why he snubbed the chance

West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi has explained his quest for first-team football made him reject an opportunity to join Ajax.

The 27-year-old centre-back started his career at Charlton Athletic academy and was promoted to the senior team in 2012.

Semi Ajayi in Arsenal colours. He left after two years on the bench.

During his time at the Valley, the Super Eagles star also spent time on loan with Dartford before moving to Arsenal permanently in 2013.

The defender spent two years with the Gunners but did not get a chance to feature for the senior team and had to leave the Emirates Stadium.

Ajayi went on trials at Ajax before sealing a deal with Cardiff City and has revealed why he decided not to join the Dutch side despite their interest to sign him.

“When I left Arsenal, they allowed me to go and train at clubs and have a look at clubs and explore my options. Ajax happened to be one of them. It was a really good experience and I enjoyed it a lot,” Ajayi told BBC Sport Africa.

“Their academy and the set up they have there is amazing. You can see why they produce so many players when you enter their facilities and see how they do things.

“They were interested, they wanted a young athletic centre back to groom for the first team and get ready for the first team and I fit their criteria, so they invited me for a trial.

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“It went really well but I was looking for first-team football and the route that they wanted me to go would have been to initially play for the B team and then maybe work my way up into the first team.

“I just thought if I was going to leave home and then move all the way over there it would be for first-team only, although the B team is technically a first-team.”

After spending two years at Cardiff, Ajayi teamed up with Rotherham United, initially on loan before sealing a permanent deal with the club.

The defender delivered eye-catching performances during his time with the Millers and was rewarded for his displays, winning the Player and Goal of the Season awards in 2019.

Ajayi left the side for Premier League club West Brom and has been a consistent performer for the Baggies.

The centre-back has made 19 appearances across all competitions this season for West Brom and will be expected to feature when they take on Fulham on Saturday. (GOAL)

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