17 Jan 2001
Centre-back Ajibola Alese became a full-time Academy of Football scholar in summer 2017, by which time he had already made his U18 Premier League debut against Norwich City on 4 February of the same year.
The defender featured eight times in total in 2016/17 while still a schoolboy before making a further four U18 Premier League South appearances the following season. The 2017/18 campaign also saw Alese debut in Premier League 2 Division 1 in a goalless draw with Everton on 11 August 2017, and keep clean sheets on each of his first three starts.
At international level, he was capped three times at U16 level before graduating to the Young Lions' U17 squad in February 2018.
Alese helped England to reach the semi-finals of the 2018 UEFA European U17 Championship finals, where they were edged out 6-5 by the Netherlands in a penalty shootout. The defender featured three times at the tournament, also starting the group-stage defeat by Switzerland and quarter-final win over Norway.