Leyton Orient has a proud history of bringing through local players at the club and establishing them as first-team figures.
Some go on to make a name for themselves beyond the realms of the lower Football League tiers, and one of the most recent examples of an O’s player to establish themselves in a top division is former Orient defender Moses Odubajo.
Joining the club at 15 after failing to win a scholarship at his first club Millwall, Odubajo quickly established himself as a player with some potential during his first year with the Leyton Orient.
Within a year with the east London side, the right-sided player was involved with the first-team in League One, where he was also named the club’s Young Player of the Season due to his involvement with the team’s run in the FA Youth Cup.
In the 2011/12 season, Odubajo got his first minutes with the O’s, and although he was limited to only three appearances, he scored the club’s Goal of the Season in the final game of the season against Rochdale.
It was the following campaign where the teenager would get his break-through in the Orient first-team, making 54 appearances in all competitions the 2012/13 season and scoring three goals from the right-back position.
A switch to right wing the next season resulted in Odubajo’s most productive season to date in professional football where the 20-year-old hit 12 goals in all competitions as the youngster played every league game that campaign as Orient finished third in the league table.
A goal against Peterborough United in the play-off semi-finals sent the O’s to Wembley in the final after a 3-2 aggregate win, and although Odubajo was able to score the opening goal of the game, Orient was unable to claim the final promotion spot to the Championship after the club crashed out on penalties.
It proved to be Odubajo’s final game for Orient, though, after a club record offer of £1 million from Brentford came in for the 20-year-old as the now England U-20 international made the move from east to west London.
After one season with the Bees, Odubajo was on the move again, this time to Hull City for a reported fee of £3.5 million, however a knee injury kept the defender out of action for close to two years as the right-back helped the Tigers to Premier League promotion in his first campaign with Steve Bruce’s side.
With no football in two seasons, Odubajo decided to make the move back to Brentford as a free agent in the summer of 2018, making 10 appearances for the club this season.
It is interesting to think what would have happened to Odubajo if he did not pick up that injury after Hull’s promotion to the Premier League, but one thing is for certain, the defender has been one of the best players Orient have produced in some time.
Leyton Orient fans, what is your favourite memory of Odubajo? Let us know!
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