Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Akpom hoping for final Arsenal chance after excelling on loan

You could certainly be forgiven for thinking that Chuba Akpom’s Arsenal career has effectively been over for some time.

This season the striker, who turns 23 later this year, was restricted to just one first-team appearance for Arsenal, with the extremely talented Eddie Nketiah edging ahead of him in the pecking order.

Akpom was sent out on loan to Belgian side Sint-Truiden in January and, with his Arsenal contract set to expire in the summer of 2019, it was widely considered that his chance of making the breakthrough had gone .

It perhaps wasn’t anticipated that Akpom would fare quite so well for his temporary side, with the attacker having scored six goals in his last eight games, seeing Sint-Truiden edge closer to earning a spot in the Europa League.

The majority of Akpom’s previous loan spells (all of which were with lower league English sides) certainly didn’t go to plan as he found it very difficult to score and his overall performances often lacked conviction.

Now, though, Akpom is relishing representing a side that bring the best out of him. Sint-Truiden have a similar playing style to Arsenal in terms of pass and move football, which enables Akpom to become heavily involved in proceedings and also drift out to the left wing, where he is always dangerous.

In stark contrast, when Akpom played in the Championship, especially during his spell at Nottingham Forest, he often found himself isolated up front and unable to have any sort of influence on the game.

This is a problem that many Arsenal youngsters face in that they have been educated to play a very specific style of football and then find it extremely challenging when they are loaned out to a side with a markedly different philosophy.

After going through that process on several occasions, Akpom has now found the perfect fit for his playing style and the goals have followed.

The quality, or lack thereof, of the Belgian top flight certainly needs to be taken into consideration but Akpom has performed so well that Arsenal cannot fail to have noticed.

Although Akpom prefers to play up front, he is perhaps best suited to the left flank, where he can use his pace and trickery to torment opponents.

With Arsenal lacking wingers in the first-team squad, perhaps Akpom could be an internal solution to provide backup in that department, at least for the first half of next season.

Whatever happens, Akpom’s exploits out on loan have ensured that the upcoming decision over his future won’t be a straightforward one.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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Interesting I’m glad things are going well for him , many may not remember but´Akpom is one of those youngsters who always looked good in his cameos with the A-Team. There were a few times when he was perhaps trying too hard to make an impact but he generally performed well for us . Got sent out on loan and didn’t impress..

Bob Bobbery

If the budget for next season is being reported as accurate the new manager should definitely take note. We’ve got to look for youth to add depth if we aren’t going to bring many in. Considering welbeck’s contractual situation and the priority for defensive reinforcements as well.

Robert Pires : Director of football @ Arsenal

He said previously he’ll play any position for the team, come on in buddy, you can play as backup left winger.


Akpom is a great talent with speed, determination and trickery when he cuts in with his right foot…he has a bit of an attitude problem though as was obvious with his tantrum @hull…give him the right coaching and he will blossom


Its difficult with Akpon. Wenger has kept him in and around the first team and back on loan, he has threatened to break through but flattered to deceive at times as well. You could sell him and he becomes the next Harry Kane and you rue the decision to. Then again he could fetch a decent price even now which will fund bringing in more complete players this summer. Its part of the complexity that involves management. At 23yrs, you feel an ultimate decision is around the corner but you also understand why Wenger tried to hang on to him… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

Every time I start to read a long post here, I go through this process…
1. “Hmmm, post seems kinda long, lemme scroll down a little”
2. “Hey, is this guy insulting or attacking players for no good reason?”
3. “Hmm, a long post insulting players? I think I may be reading a Santori post”

I scroll up and lo and behold, I am. I then stop reading before I get to the obligatory Elneny attack, downvote and move on to the next comment.

A Different George

I often think he has some useful things to say, when I’m able to force myself to read it. This post seems to be a complete overview of what is needed for next season; anything about Akpom, our loan policy, our other young players, etc.–what the actual story is about– are just secondary aspects of what he’s saying. Posts like this are more likely to irritate through their self-indulgence than provide anyone with some new insight.


When you drill a young player to execute a certain play and he imbibes such a drill, he ultimately becomes efficient. Freddie Ljunberg comes to my mind, and James Milner. We need efficiency now, Mavropanos will become a good defender. Chuba needs to be assessed by the new manager, if he is good enough to execute, then he will stay. I remember saying elsewhere that Lacazette works best in a front 2 and not as a holding CF. He does not need to stay upfront, he needs you to give him the ball in the box when he has one… Read more »


Don’t know if you have been paying attention but the first choice striker debate at Arsenal seems to have been over. Aubameyang is better than Lacazetter, Welbeck and what we had before: Giroud.
Other options needs to be ones that work well with him and I would still prefer proper wingers who can open up the pitch and play cutbacks instead of converted center forwards.
Having said that, between Akpom and Welbeck, no sense in keeping the older, more expensive and more tested Welbeck instead of the younger, hungrier, home grown player.


Maybe. Or maybe he’s just added a lot of value to his transfer fee this summer. I don’t mean to be hard hearted but he’s not getting into a team with a man like Lacazette three years older than him, and our second(!) striker. And if rumours and experience are any guide we don’t have much of a transfer kitty. We need funds.

Faisal Narrage

“This is a problem that many Arsenal youngsters face in that they have been educated to play a very specific style of football and then find it extremely challenging when they are loaned out to a side with a markedly different philosophy.” Also a big reason why many of our youth prospects upon leaving Arsenal plunge right down into outside the pro levels, even with great technical ability. Something for Per to solve. Academy isn’t just to produce for first team, but to educate players for life outside of Arsenal if it doesn’t work out, and we’re now really bad… Read more »

David Hillier's luggage

I think our loan structure definitely needs to be looked at, however I also think the loan system in general is in a strange place for a lot of clubs at the moment with regards to developing players. The mid table/lower half Prem sides used to take talented young players on loan partly as a cost saving measure (extremely talented player, no fee, wages mostly paid), however these clubs now have enough money in their coffers that they can spend £15-20m on more experienced players of a level they wouldn’t have dreamed of before. Everyone bar the top 7 clubs… Read more »


The issue is two folds: First Arsenal youngsters are trained to play a certain style and that is issue for those that do not make the grade. However some behave like the Arsenal way of playing is the only way. More humility and willingness to learn and adapt to a different style would more beneficial. Also a certain numbers choose the wrong club for loan. Instead of choosing the manager and his style of play, they select the club with the highest position (Mavididi is a case in point, he joined Preston a completely unsuited club but in the Championship… Read more »


I had him down on my list of “to sell” but maybe he should be allowed one more chance and who knows under a new coach he may find his position and excel. Good to hear he is doing well.


Good for him!

I think Chuba needs to play with the first team for a final season and see if he comes good. This is why a new manager, in the mold of Leonardo Jardim is necessary: we need a man who can turn a decent player into an efficient game player.

Gooner Sam

Glad things are going well for him but highly doubt he will ever be good enough for Arsenal

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