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Defensive duties have helped Walsall's Elijah Adebayo

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall striker Elijah Adebayo believes his grounding playing centre-back at youth level gives him an added edge in the professional game.

Elijah Adebayo celebrates his goal

The 22-year-old came through the academy ranks at Fulham and went out on several loans before joining the Saddlers in the summer.

He played with Wes McDonald at Fulham and after the Walsall winger revealed Adebayo used to play as a centre-back, the now striker has said that experience gives him an important insight into opposition defenders.

"In my early career at Fulham, when I was around eight, I initially joined as a striker," he said.

"Over the years I grew massively over everyone else and in one session I was commanding and dealing with the one versus one situation, so they decided to chuck me into centre back in one game at under-14 level.

"I went from there to under-18 playing as a centre back and it wasn't until my first year as a professional after my scholar years when I went back in as a centre forward.

"In training I used to run all the way with the ball and end up scoring or passing and they couldn't decide on which position I was going to play.

"Wesley (McDonald) used to play with me and originally he used to play as a centre midfielder, so he made my job easy as I used to give the ball to him to move it on.

"I did enjoy playing as a centre half, I wasn't a 'head everything' player, I wasn't like Dan Scarr.

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"More of a centre half that liked to get the ball down and play.

"It was a good experience for me and I sort of have an insight into what defenders are thinking when I come up against them.

"But now playing with Wesley again I'll just give him the ball, he seems to just do the rest.

"It was enjoyable but I definitely prefer centre forward."

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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