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Tolu Arokodare struggles in U21 Friendly

On-loan Cologne striker, Tolu Arokodare failed to impress after being giving a rare start in the colours of the German side in a behind the door friendly.

The player has struggled for minutes since moving from the Latvian league in the summer, accruing just 68 minutes spread of 6 substitute appearances.

His development has been further obstructed by the fact that he is ineligible to play for Cologne’s U21 side in competitive matches placing him on the fringes of the first team squad.

Cologne’s General Manager, Horst Heldt, however, arranged a behind closed-door friendly for the Köln youth team against Rot-Weiss Essen to access the youngsters’ quality as the senior squad had failed to steer them out of relegation waters.

Special attention was paid to Arokodare,

“We tried to use Tolu with vertical passes, either to bring him into the final position or to put the ball on the players who were coming up.” said Mark Zimmermann who coached the youth team. “

However the 20-year-old struggled to impact the game as his side lost 4-1, to the lower tier side. His woes were further compounded as had two good goal scoring chances which he failed to finish.

Mark Zimmermann himself expressed his disappointment, but tried to downplay his struggles to match rustiness,

“Understandably, without training sessions, he was missing the bond with the team. With his scoring chances, he was then lacking luck in the end.”

Arokodare had been challenged by Horst to “step up Bundesliga level” and fulfil his potential.

The manager has also promised the towering forward ample game time this year, but judging by the post-game comments, he still has his work cut out.


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