Spireites: Dean Saunders has mixed emotions over Gboly Ariyibi’s USA call-up

Millwall vs Chesterfield - Gboly Ariyibi goes around Tony Craig - Pic By James Williamson
Millwall vs Chesterfield - Gboly Ariyibi goes around Tony Craig - Pic By James Williamson

Gboly Ariyibi’s absence this afternoon against Wigan has left Chesterfield boss Dean Saunders with mixed emotions about the winger’s international call-up.

Ariyibi will miss the Sky Bet League One clash as he is away with the USA Under-23 squad.

The former Leeds trainee came on as a 86th-minute substitute during his side’s 1-0 defeat to the England Under-21 team at Preston’s Deepdale stadium on Thursday night.

Saunders is disappointed to lose the services of the 20-year-old for the visit of the Latics, but he accepts there are some positives to take from the situation.

“He’s going to be a loss for us because he can turn a game in a second,” said Saunders. “But it’s good to have players representing their countries because it shows they have value.

“He will experience new things and new ideas, tactics and ways of doing things and play against better opposition - that’s the biggest thing about playing internationally compared to playing for your club.

“Everything about international football is so much quicker - the movement, the passing. Everything.

“So hopefully he will take all those things on board and come back to us a little better than when he left us.”

However, having earned 75 caps for Wales during his playing career, Saunders knows as well as anybody of another potentially significant drawback.

“Sometimes when a player comes back from international duty you have to get their minds switched back on to the club again,” said the Chesterfield manager.

“I wouldn’t call it a holiday, but sometimes it’s a welcome break - international football - from the rigours of league football.

“You go away and play for your country and sometimes, like Gboly is doing, you miss training and matches and things that have been said and worked on, so when you return you need your mind back on it as quickly as possible.”