Chuba Akpom has been an Arsenal player since 2002 but his long association with the club is reportedly set to come to an end as he closes in on a permanent switch to Sint-Truiden.
In truth, at the age of 22 and with less than a year remaining on his current contract, not to mention being behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order, it isn’t really a major surprise that Akpom is on his way out.
The suspicion remains that, given how well accustomed he is to Arsenal’s style of play, Akpom could have thrived if he was provided with regular opportunities in the first-team, especially when some of his encouraging cameos for the senior side are taken into account.
It appears, though, that a decision has been made and Akpom will be returning to Sint-Truiden, with whom he enjoyed a successful loan spell in the second half of last season.
Akpom’s various loan spells in England didn’t really work out, with questions being raised about his attitude on some occasions, while at times he wasn’t at all suited to the playing style of his temporary team.
Despite regularly finding the net in pre-season games and at youth level, getting into the first-team on a regular basis has proven to be a bridge too far for Akpom, and a move abroad could be just what he requires in order to prove that he is capable of making an impact on a consistent basis.
When Akpom first started to gain major attention there was a considerable amount of hype surrounding him, especially when his excellent technique was taken into account.
Over time, however, he has become increasingly phased out and Nketiah’s breakthrough last season really was the final straw as far as Akpom’s hopes of making it at Arsenal were concerned.
The wait to produce a first-team regular striker from the Hale End academy goes on and Akpom is set to depart with just 12 competitive senior appearances for the Gunners to his name, only four of which came in the Premier League.
There is also a possibility that Stephy Mavididi, another striker who was once tipped for very big things, will also be allowed to leave on a permanent basis this summer.
Nketiah, it seems, represents Arsenal’s best chance of ending their lengthy wait for a homegrown striker.