Deji Sotona has left Manchester United
Former Mullingar Athletic youngster Ayodeji ‘Deji’ Sotona has turned down a professional contract offer from Manchester United, the Manchester Evening News has reported.
Sotona, who was named as the fastest player at United last year, is understood to have rejected a three-year deal and has parted company with the former Premier League champions.
The pacey forward turns 18 in December, and according to MEN’s Samuel Luckhurst, was unhappy with the terms of the contract offered by United, including the lack of guarantees about a first team promotion.
A regular fixture in United’s U18 team, Sotona scored the winner in the club’s FA Youth Cup last eight clash against Wigan last season. However, he was sent off on his U21 debut against Tranmere Rovers in the EFL Trophy.
Born in Waterford, Sotona moved to Mullingar as a child and attended Mullingar Educate Together National School, where he was part of the ETNS team that won a Cumann na mBunscol boys’ Division 4 Gaelic football title in 2013, and an Iggy Fulham Memorial Cup in 2015.
He also joined Mullingar Athletic and Mullingar Harriers, enjoying success with Athletic’s U12s and winning a number of provincial and national sprinting medals with Harriers.
He was with the Grange-based athletics club in 2013 and 2014, when he won a Leinster indoor 60m U12 medal and an All-Ireland bronze in 2013. That same year, he ran lead leg for the 4x100m relay (U12); the team won a silver medal.
In 2014, the former St Finian’s College, Mullingar student started to gravitate towards soccer and before long, was scouted and snapped up by Manchester United’s academy.
He has since been capped by the Republic of Ireland at youths level, but is eligible to play for both Nigeria and England.
EFL League One side Rochdale, according to Luckhurst, are keeping tabs on the now free agent.