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Coventry City’s Jodi Jones has revealed that Arsenal were interested in him as a youngster.
The winger has had a very strong start to the season with Coventry, scoring a hat-trick in his first game of their League Two campaign. He’s only 19 years old but has already made 93 appearances for the Dagenham & Redbridge and Coventry City first teams.
Now he’s revealed that he could’ve taken a very different path as his career started to take off. Initially he played for Senrab FC, a Sunday League side where John Terry, Sol Campbell and Jermain Defoe started their careers, among others.
In Sunday 13th August’s edition of the Football League Paper, Jodi disclosed that this was when he started to draw interest from some of London’s top clubs. He said to the paper: “With the players that have come out of such a good Sunday League team, there are so many scouts there and, at a young age, loads of teams came in for me.
“But my godfather, who’s basically like my agent, suggested I should stay at Senrab and have fun. Most London clubs, like Arsenal and Chelsea (showed interest), but I sort of blocked it off and stayed.”
According to the Football League Paper, Jones did have a brief spell with Arsenal anyway, but then decided to joined Dagenham, and essentially skipped the youth levels of football, making the Daggers’ youngest ever league appearance at 17 and staying in the team for just over a year before the move to Coventry.
Jodi is sure that he made the right choice, and advises others still playing in the youth teams for big clubs to play men’s football as soon as they get the chance.
To an extent, this is already happening, with players like Stephy Mavididi getting loan opportunities at Championship clubs, but it remains to be seen which path works out best for the two 19-year-olds.