Column: Chesterfield have much to gain and a lot to lose in Ariyibi contract talks
Chesterfield have much to gain and a lot to lose in their contract extension talks with Gboly Ariyibi.
Both scenarios depend on the youngster, who has just one more year left on his current deal, continuing to develop like he did last season.
If he signs a longer deal, it’s not unreasonable to expect a big windfall for the Spireites at some point in the future.
His talent is undoubted, only his consistency has kept him in League One to date.
Electric pace that few if any of the division’s full-backs have been able to match and an ability to play on both wings makes him an eyecatching prospect.
But should he begin to put in match winning performances on a regular basis, a team with deep pockets will come along and cross the Proact palms with silver.
Similarly, if Ariyibi continues to make headlines by troubling defences and his contract is not extended, expect him to be sold in January for a fraction of his potential value, so the club actually get something of a return from him.
Who knows if the reports of Rotherham interest have any weight, but you can bet there will be a club or clubs at a higher level monitoring the American’s progress.
Neither Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson nor his assistant Chris Morgan are men prone to getting carried away about the talent of young players – neither would let Ariyibi’s feet leave the ground.
The managerial pair were very complimentary about the 21-year-old at times last season however, admitting his pace and trickery made him difficult to deal with for most if not all defences – when he was on song.
The key to Ariyibi’s ultimate destination in the game lies with the player himself and how willing he is to be moulded by the wise heads around him.
Morgan revealed in a Proact press conference last season that coaches were working hard to augment Ariyibi’s game.
He also reported that the ‘penny was dropping’ - suggesting that their work was paying off but also leaving no doubt in the minds of those listening that the player is still a work in progress.
It was noticeable in certain fixtures last term that Ariyibi was still contributing to the team even when he wasn’t getting at the opposition with the ball.
You loathe to see a club trying to make a player something he’s not – but Morgan conceded that they didn’t want to dull Ariyibi’s attacking instinct, they just needed a bit more from him than a few mazy dribbles in each outing.
That said, it’s those dribbles and what he does at the end of them that will ultimately take the Virginia-born winger to greater heights in the game.
Give the ball to Gboly and on his day, more often than not, he’ll do something good with it.
As with all player dealings, Chesterfield will live within their means, no one expects them to blow the budget to keep an individual happy.
Chesterfield can expect some loyalty from the player, having given him his first real chance of regular football.
He appears to make all the right noises in terms of relationship with the fanbase and there is a buzz at the Proact when he picks up possession.
It all adds up to good business and not even much of a gamble, tying him to the club for the next few years.
And if they speculate, just a little, they could accumulate a lot when it comes to this player.