Nathan Butler-Oyedeji says he is ready to go after the Arsenal Under-21 striker put pen to paper on a loan deal with Accrington Stanley.
The 20-year-old signed on loan until the end of the season on Tuesday and, after scoring four goals in his four Papa Johns Trophy appearances for the Gunners, he is hoping he can translate this form into League One, starting with Lincoln City visiting the Wham Stadium tomorrow.
The Reds are locked in a relegation battle with the Imps in 16th place, six points ahead of Stanley having played a game more.
“When Accrington came in, I saw it as a really exciting project,” said Butler-Oyedeji. “I saw the opportunity to play in League One with a really good bunch of lads and a good manager that wants to get out of a tricky situation so it will be a good experience for me.
“I want a challenge, I haven’t played professional football before. I have been doing well with the 21s and been in and around the first team so this is the next step.
“I could have gone to other places but I think I will get game time here and if I perform, will get continued game time which will be helpful.”
It’s Butler-Oyedeji’s first loan move away from the Emirates and he is determined to settle up north.
“It is hard but this is the kind of stuff you have to do, growing up. I have just turned 20 but these are the things football that you are going to have to overcome at times. Branching out here is a good step in my career.”
He admitted that the taste of EFL football in the Papa Johns Trophy is what persuaded him to make a switch at this time.
“In 21s football at Arsenal it’s a bubble, but in the Papa Johns Trophy games it’s not just tactical and technical, it’s physical. Clubs go longer and there are a lot of dark arts you wouldn’t see in the 21s games so it’s definitely helped.
“I played against Cambridge, which was a good experience.
“This is different though as I am going into the league where people are fighting for three points, trying to get out of relegation battles and playing their strongest team possible.”
He has been an unused substitute for Arsenal and says he has learnt a lot from being around the first team of the Premier League leaders.
“If you are lucky or perform in the 21s and impress first team staff, you get to train with them which I have quite a lot. I have learnt a lot from the experienced players and the manager talking to me and giving me tips.
“My dad told me to take the jump of faith and come here. He says everyone’s journey is different, and everyone blooms at different times.
“I want to come here, play games, get my head down and try and improve as a player. There will be mistakes on the way as I am young but I will try my best for Accrington Stanley.
“I have a lot of pace, good dribbling ability but at this level it’s all about getting goals and I will try and do that. I am ready to go.”
The full first interview video with Nathan Butler-Oyedeji is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!