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Interviews

Back to Ayoub’s breakthrough scene after a bit of prison drama!

Trip to Shrewsbury brings back happy memories for our attacking talent

25 September 2021

Ayoub Assal’s favourite programme at the moment is Prison Break – and today he returns to the scene where he made a dramatic intervention!

The 19-year-old attacking talent’s first league goal came at Shrewsbury when he came on as substitute to strike an equaliser that earned a precious point in our battle to stay up.

“It was a special night, it was my league debut, and I came on when we were 1-0 down," recalled Ayoub. "I remember that the game was going at a fast pace, and it was a game when we needed a win. I managed to come on and grab a goal to make it 1-1. That’s where it all started for me, getting my first league goal, and the rest is history!

“I just grabbed the ball and ran back to the halfway line and put the ball down quickly! We wanted to win the game as we were in a tough relegation battle last season, so there was no time to celebrate. If I score again I have to cut down on the yellow cards, so I will have to be more sensible with my celebration! During an intense game it’s hard to keep it all in, but you don’t want to cost your team the game.”

Fast forward six months since Shrewsbury and Ayoub has won the EFL Young Player of the Month for April and made himself a key part of Wimbledon’s rise up the table. Following the Carabao Cup tie at Arsenal, successive away matches are up next with Rotherham on Tuesday after Shrewsbury – and Ayoub revealed that watching a US drama from the past will be a welcome distraction for the long trips. Prison Break tells the story of a man who sets out to rescue his brother, who has wrongly been sentenced to death, and watching it has been passing the time for Ayoub on away trips.

“We talk a lot about football, and some topics off the pitch. I also watch some Netflix to kill time, and before you know it the game is there. There are a couple of shows to be fair, but right now my favourite is probably Prison Break. It’s a classic.

“All my life all I’ve known is football at the weekend! If there was no football I would probably go out with my friends, play some bowling and Playstation, stuff like that.”

Ayoub added that he’s eager to continue improving his game – and he fully appreciates the backing of our fantastic away support.

“The fans are brilliant, not just at Arsenal, but at every away game. As players we really appreciate it, and we ask them to keep supporting us. It helps to give us that extra push, so we thank them very much.

“It’s all happened so quickly for me, I’ve not had time to sit down and process what has happened, but I just have to keep going, keep working hard, and anything is possible in football. I still have quite a few things that I need to improve upon. I can still improve on my strengths, such as one v one. Defensively and attacking I can get even better and I want to improve my conversion rate.”

You can watch Ayoub's full interview ahead of Shrewsbury by clicking on the link below.


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