Video: Gboly Ariyibi shows Leeds what they're missing in US Under-23 victory

Leeds United East Stand

The 20-year-old former Leeds United winger helped create the opening goal for the States in Tuesday night's 4-0 win over Panama.

Chesterfield winger Gboly Ariyibi is not a widely known name in US soccer circles at present but, given his recent international performances, that could be about to change.

On Tuesday night, the 20-year-old helped the US Under-23s thump Panama 4-0 in their third and final group game of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, as his tricky play on the left flank induced an own goal from Fidel Escobar in the 51st-minute to open the scoring.

The victory means Andi Herzog’s men progress to the tournament’s semi-finals as Group A winners with maximum points and, with a win in the next round sealing their place at 2016 Olympics, there is a good chance that Ariyibi could be showcasing his skills in Rio next summer.

A fairly new arrival to the USA youth setup, the pacey wide man has been getting regular playing time over the past two seasons at League One’s Chesterfield, where his performances have not only helped push him onto Herzog's radar but also sent a message to his former clubs.

The Virginia-born youngster was previously on Southampton's books from the age of nine but was released in the summer of 2013 without making a senior appearance, before catching on with Leeds United the following December after impressing then-boss Brian McDermott while on trial.

He went on to make his senior debut for the Championship side as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest that same month but featured just once more over the rest of the campaign before being let go in May 2014.

However, Leeds proceeded to struggle for options out wide over the next season and, while they have since addressed that issue with the summer signings of Stuart Dallas and Jordan Botaka, it certainly would not hurt to still have a young international talent at their disposal.

Chesterfield manager Dean Saunders has even spoken in glowing terms about him of late, telling The Star prior to last month’s US Under-23 friendlies against England and Qatar: “He’s going to be a loss for us because he can turn a game in a second, but it’s good to have players representing their countries because it shows they have value.”

He undoubtedly has value to the USA given their struggles to develop natural wingers over recent years and, while he still has a huge amount to prove at this point in his career, Leeds will certainly be hoping that they do not come to regret cutting ties with him.

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