21 Nov 1998
Defender Tunji Akinola joined West Ham United when he was just eight-years-old and has long been considered one of the Academy of Football's brightest prospects.
Tall and composed, Akinola is a ball-playing centre-back who was promoted to the U18 squad at the age of 15 and has already passed 50 appearances at U23 level.
The hip-hop, athletics and tennis fan names Winston Reid, Paolo Maldini, Pablo Cannavaro and Sergio Ramos as the defenders he models his own game on.
Featured at left-back and centre-back in Premier League 2 Division 1 before Christmas 2018, helping the Hammers to impressive wins at Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool...Sent-off for two bookable offences in both the 6-4 home defeat by Manchester City on 19 August 2018 and 2-1 home loss to Chelsea on 22 September 2018...Started all three Checkatrade Trophy group-stage defeats at Bristol Rovers, Exeter City and Yeovil Town in autumn 2018...Featured in the 5-1 Premier League 2 Division 1 win at Manchester City on 5 January 2019.
Scored in the U23s' second Premier League 2 Division 1 fixture of the season, a 3-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur on 21 August 2017...Captained the U23s for the first time at the age of 18 in the 2-0 Premier League 2 Division 1 defeat at home to Liverpool on 18 September 2017...Started the Hammers' Checkatrade Trophy Group B fixtures at Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers, as well as the 4-0 second round defeat at Luton Town on 5 December 2017...Started 17 times and made 18 appearances in Premier League 2 Division 1, helping the Hammers to impressive away wins at Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton in spring 2018...Totaled 21 appearances in all competitions for the U23s and U21s.
Named captain of West Ham United U18s and scored in the first U18 Premier League game of the season in the 2-0 victory at Reading...Added another goal in the 5-2 win over Norwich City in October...Started two of the U23s' three Checkatrade Trophy fixtures against Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town in the late autumn...Featured eleven times in the Premier League 2 Division 2 campaign, starting six times...Crowned another promising season by starting the Premier League 2 Play-Off victories at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United to secure promotion.
Scored his first goal of the season for the U18s on 7 November in a 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur...A week later, was on the scoresheet again in the 2-0 win over Leicester City...Appeared five times in Premier League 2, starting the 3-1 victory at Newcastle United on 11 March 2016 and the 1-0 home win over Stoke City on 4 April 2017...Ended the 2015/16 season by signing a new long-term contract.
Was a regular member of West Ham United's U18 side, making 18 appearances...Made his debut for the Development Squad at the age of 16 on 6 February 2015, when he appeared in a 2-1 home win over Fulham.
Made his debut for West Ham United's U18 side while still an U15 schoolboy when he appeared at Everton on 29 March 2014.