Living in a world of fast cars, stylish clothing and lavish lifestyles, many of the Premier League’s teenage elite can expect a rude awakening according to Swindon Town hotshot Nicky Ajose.
Having come through the ranks at one of the most high profile academies in the country at Manchester United before his departure for Peterborough in 2011, Ajose signed for the Robins on summer transfer deadline day.
And the 24-year-old has some strong opinions on one of the hottest topics in English football.
“I find it embarrassing there are lads in the Premier League who are on massive contracts at a ridiculously young age without kicking a football or being anywhere near the first-team,” Ajose told The FLP.
“We’ve got a young group at Swindon and the lads always have a joke with me about coming from United, but I feel like the game has just gone nuts when you see kids who are 17 or 18 driving around in big flash cars, wearing expensive clothing and giving it all that on social media.
“It angers me the way these kids think they have it all already. They’re in for a shock in the future.”
Brought to Leeds from Peterborough by then-manager Dave Hockaday, Ajose featured in all four of the Yorkshire club’s opening matches of the 2013-14 campaign.
They were to be the forward’s only appearances in a white shirt, and he felt as though the off-the-field issues the club was facing made the environment quite inhospitable for him to succeed.
“The club had something like five managers in the space of 18 months and I think that tells you a lot about how things were,” he said.
“I played the first few games but after the manager left I was nowhere near the first-team. I got nothing that even remotely resembled an opportunity. That’s football sometimes.
“I managed to get out on loan to Crewe to get some games. I could have sat at Leeds and picked up Championship money but that’s not who I am. It’s not money that gets me going, it’s playing football.”
Now at Swindon, Ajose has hit a purple patch, having notched seven goals in his last eight games, and puts new boss Martin Ling’s steadying influence behind the club’s upturn in form.
“I’m enjoying it at the moment and we’ve had a little renaissance in form after winning the last couple of games,” he said.
“Finishing is something I’m very assured and calm about so it’s nice to grab a few goals and influence games in that manner, but I’m not one of those players who if they don’t score for a few games lets it affects them.”
“Martin has come in and kept everyone calm and instilled in us that if we get our performances to a good level then the wins will follow.
“He’s brought in some of his own ideas which are revolved around building the confidence back up after a bad run of results.”
Ajose feels that he deserves the chance to get back into the second tier in the near future – believing in his own ability to fire him to the top.
“I’m a very ambitious and confident guy. I feel I can definitely play in the Championship and I’m desperate to prove myself at that level,” said Ajose.
“Players want to play as high as they can and I think that’s the next progression for me. In my case, I’ve played with players who’ve been at that level and higher and I think I’ve more then matched them.”