Gboly Ariyibi

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Gboly Ariyibi





Born in West Virginia in the USA, Gboly started his youth career at Southampton in 2005 after being spotted playing for local side Quarry Rovers. He came through the youth ranks with future first team regulars Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse.

Gboly progressed at Southampton through to the Under 21's team and was named as one of Southampton's home grown Under 21 players for the 2012–13 season in the official Premier League squad list.

After being released by Southampton with Mauricio Pochettino deciding against offering Ariyibi a permanent professional contract, Gboly signed for Leeds United until the end of the 2013/2014 season after a short trial spell. Upon signing for Leeds, Leeds manager Brian McDermott described Gboly as "an exciting player, very, very quick. He’s a great lad too." Gboly was awarded squad number 27 and on Boxing Day 2013 he was named as an unused substitute against Blackpool.

On 29 December 2013, Gboly made his Leeds debut coming on as a second half substitute against Nottingham Forest, and one further first team appearance - still at the age of 18 - preceded a loan move in March to League One side Tranmere Rovers.

In the summer of 2014, Gboly had the opportunity to join a Premier League U21 squad but chose to sign for League One club Chesterfield, signing an initial one year deal. Gboly performed impressively on his Chesterfield debut, starting against Scunthorpe in the JP Trophy, and he would then make his Football League debut for the Spireites also against Scunthorpe, this time as a late substitute. Sandwiched between those two appearances Gboly was called up by the US Under 20 National squad, and flew to Argentina to train and play with Tab Ramos' squad.

Gboly's first extended appearance in the League for Chesterfield came on the 28th October 2014, when he entered the field of play as a 53rd minute substitute. Gboly's first League for Paul Cook's side came on 17th February 2015, away to Scunthorpe and on the 28th February he provided two assists in a man of the match performance at home to Fleetwood.

Gboly scored his first professional goal on 14th March 2015, at home to Coventry City. By the time Chesterfield impressively secured a play-off position at the end of the regular season, Gboly had made 17 League One appearances for the Spireites.

For the 2015/2016 season, under new manager Dean Saunders, Gboly started and shone in a 3-1 win against Barnsley on the opening day of the season. That performance contributed to the call up which arrived on the 28th August 2015, to the US Under 23 squad - for games against England U21 and Qatar. Gboly appeared as a late sub in the England game, held at Deepdale, on the 3rd September and against Qatar he scored a superb volley in a 2-0 win. Those performances earned Gboly a spot in the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament squad, and on 3rd October he appeared as a substitute in a 6-1 win against Cuba in Kansas City. He impressed manager Andi Herzog sufficiently to earn a start in the next game played in Denver, and Gboly assisted two goals and shone in the 4-0 win against Panama (6th October).

Gboly scored his first senior goal for Chesterfield of the 15/16 season, and his first ever FA Cup goal, in front of the live TV cameras on 9th November 2015 - scoring the opening goal in a 4-1 away win at FC Utd. Under new manager Danny Wilson, Gboly's form started to dazzle - notably in a performance away to Rochdale on 9th January 2016 where his opponents were forced to substitute their left-back in the first half such was Gboly's dominance.

Gboly's first League goal of the season finally came on 2nd April - in his 32nd League appearance of the season - and on the 9th April a dazzling performance away to Barnsley delivered two assists on his 50th appearance for Chesterfield.

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