This one seems obvious. Toronto’s star young striker made a huge jump last season, forcing himself into the starting 11, raising questions about who TFC should be starting up top. However, he’s dealt with injuries, especially of late when he missed Olympic Qualifying and will possibly miss Toronto’s Champions League leg next week.
The 21-year-old American, Canadian, and Nigerian eligible attacker showed a ton of promise last season and will look to build on it this year as his pace and youth will become even more crucial to Toronto’s new pressing system.
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The reason to watch Akinola isn’t solely for his work on the pitch, though. Akinola’s contract expires at the end of the season, and there have been clubs that have shown interest in him, namely Trabzonspor in the Turkish Süper Lig. Could Toronto use the new young money initiative to entice Akinola to stay in the 6ix with a higher salary? Or will he do his best to secure a move abroad to try and further his career in Europe? Still undecided on which national team he’ll represent, will we see a decision from him this season on where he’ll play his international soccer?
The Ayo Akinola story this season will be one of incredible intrigue and will cause a lot of drama if we near the end of the season and he and the club are unable to figure out a contract extension. Nevermind what will happen if rumours about a move to another international club begin to surface.