Deji Sotona has signed for Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock on loan.
Ireland underage international Deji Sotona has today agreed to join SPFL side Kilmarnock on a season long loan from OGC Nice.
Sotona has been on the books of Nice since 2020, when he drew the line under four seasons in Manchester United’s academy.
The speedster predominantly featured for the United under-18 side but made a couple of under-23s appearances before disagreeing with the club over contract negotiations.
When the teenager’s demands could not be reached, he set for pastures new in Ligue 1 where he was limited to academy games.
Former Nice boss Patrick Vieira promised Sotona first team involvement upon signing, but that situation changed following the Arsenal legend’s departure.
As a result, he was limited to reserve games and spent six months of last season on loan with Brentford B.
— Pete O'Rourke (@SportsPeteO) August 5, 2022
Deji Sotona signs for Kilmarnock
His days of reserve games could soon be over, however. Kilmarnock, managed by Derek McInnes, have convinced the Ireland under-20 squad member to move to Scotland and an official announcement is expected later this Friday.
According to the Football Insider, Kilmarnock fended off plenty of interest from around the English Football League to secure his services and are excited to add his athleticism to their ranks.
Sotona once clocked the fastest time in Manchester United’s pre-season tests, registering a speed of 22.9kmph.
Composure level = 💯
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 4, 2020
At the time, it placed him above the likes of Daniel James and Marcus Rashford, so it is no wonder why clubs are willing to take a punt on the relatively unproven attacker.
That kind of athleticism is a rare thing and should Kilmarnock coach and guide him to develop the rest of his game, they could have a gem on their hands.
Sotona and Ireland.
Whether Sotona will represent Ireland in the future remains unclear, however.
He played for the Ireland under-16s alongside the likes of Troy Parrott as a young teenager but failed to win caps at any higher level.
🇮🇪 Republic of Ireland Under-20 call-ups for Deji Sotona and Nico Jones.
The side will play a friendly fixture later this month
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) March 13, 2022
Earlier this year, Ireland U21 manager Jim Crawford organised an Ireland U20 camp for players born in 2002, which included the Waterford-born dribbler.
However, he, along with West Ham’s Armstrong Okoflex, Inter Miami’s Harvey Neville and Liverpool’s Tom Hill, withdrew from the squad with no reason given.
Sotona grew up in Ireland and won numerous sprinting medals when he lived in Mullingar and represented the Mullingar Harriers Athleltics Club. It wasn’t until 2016 that he made the move to England for football reasons.
His family make-up makes him eligible for both Nigeria and England, however, which could cause problems for the FAI down the line.