Gboly Ariyibi glides past questions over future, focuses on hometown reunion at Oxford
Gboly Ariyibi sidestepped questions over his future as adeptly as he avoids tackles from full-backs, as Chesterfield FC met the media today ahead of the new season.
The young winger spent last season’s media day talking about his hopes of getting more first team minutes.
Today he was speaking to the press as a key player for the Spireites, upon whom a lot of responsibility for their attacking play rests.
He was also talking as a 21-year-old reportedly attracting interest from various clubs in the Championship, League One and even the Scottish Premier.
But transfer speculation was not on the agenda for the American-born Spireite, who handled awkward questions with ease.
“I’m focused on Chesterfield Football Club,” he said.
“The gaffer has believed in me, without him I wouldn’t have as much confidence as I have.
“I’m just focused on the football.
“The most important thing for me is performing on the pitch, or else no one is talking about you.”
Based on the evidence of his pre-season appearances, Ariyibi has hit the ground running.
He impressed against Championship players when Sheffield Wednesday visited and sparkled against Leicester City’s second string on Tuesday night.
It was as if the USA Under 23 international had never been away.
“That was a big thing for me, I finished strong last season and I’m looking to carry on from that and bring it into this season,” he said.
“It’s a massive season.
“Last season I’d like to say I performed well towards the end, people have seen what I can do.
“If I have an average game people might think I haven’t done as well, but not every time I’m going to beat three players and finish. I’m just happy to be in the team.
“You’ve got to respect the players like Ronaldo and Messi who do it every week, you’ve got to look up to them and try and be consistent every week.”
Ariyibi and the Spireites make the visit to his hometown this weekend for Saturday’s League One opener.
It’s a game he’s been looking forward to since the fixtures were released.
“Going to my home town Oxford on Saturday, it’s a big one for me
“I’m buzzing, all the family are coming over.
“For the lads as well it’s big for us.
“Our away record last season was really good so I’m hoping for three points.”
A brush with the relegation battle last season means some are predicting a similar scenario for Chesterfield in 2016/17, but the past should remain there according to Ariyibi, who has an optimistic outlook thanks to manager Danny Wilson’s summer recruitment of the likes of Ched Evans.
He added: “We can’t look back on last season too much.
“We’ve got a few new faces, strikers who look top class.
“In and around the box I think we’ll get a few goals.
“I think if we have that understanding and get crosses into the box, Ched will deliver goals and Kristian Dennis is a great finisher.”