Thursday, February 9, 2023

Akpom set to depart as wait for homegrown striker goes on

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.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Anonymarse

Nketiah looks quality though. Interesting to see how he develops.

Roof attack

That’s a damn shame he never made it here. Good luck choobes.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Mbappe was three years when Akpom started at Arsenal academy. Akpom couldn’t be considered one for the future anymore.

gooner1981

Well, Afobe left, and has played plenty of games in the premier league, so Akpom may yet come good. Come to think of it, who was the last striker to have come from Hale End (or its previous incarnation) and make the first team? High hopes for Eddie though, homegrown, but not Hale End product.

Wreh's FA Cup dream

Kevin Campbell?

allezkev

Andy Cole?

svaborg

Go Eddie!

Aubrey Graham

Nketiah came from Chelsea a couple seasons ago to ?

Anonymarse

Chelsea sign loads of young players and never give any a chance

Maniac

There’s been quite a few youth prospects that I’ve rated highly over recent years, but I don’t think Akpom was ever one of them. He’s a decent striker and I’m sure he’ll do well over the coming years, probably returning to the lower leagues in England next year before possibly making his way back to a Premier League club, although more than likely towards the bottom end of the table. It seems his attitude has been a problem and a couple of goals every pre-season is not enough to ignore the lack of progress he’s made these last few seasons.… Read more »

allezkev

Afobe had a couple of really bad injuries that he didn’t seem to fully recover from, it took the edge off of his pace.
Akpom was/is very skilful, but goalscoring has been a bit of an issue for him, it’s a bloody shame all the same.
Hopefully a few years abroad will see him reboot his career.

Faisal Narrage

“kept out of the team by a struggling Sanogo” Not really fair though. Not that I disagree with your point, but we’ve seen Wenger show favouritism with players and once he dedicates time to developing x player, somewhere along the way another y player will suffer. I agree with everything else though, in particular that afobe was much more talented and if he couldn’t make it, I didn’t see much hope in Akpom either. Plus his attitude problems. I do hope the new management address the elephant in the room of “the Arsenal way”’leaving many young players unable to adapt… Read more »

Bould's face

Needs to produce great defenders in order to produce great strikers, and vice versa. It’s a cynical circle. You have to play against cunning opponents to really reach top levels. In some ways, Hale End have failed to deliver.

Bould's face

It seems the club has created a way too comfortable environment at the academy and the reserves’ level. Some went out on loan and stated that they were their just to gain some experience and would come back to Arsenal. NO. You wouldn’t, if you did not show some X-factor.

We have to change these youngsters’ mindset. Tell them that sending them out on loan means make-or-break for them in terms of their chances of breaking through into the first-team contention. Tell them to FIGHT.

Vonnie

Things have changed at the academy, there’s a whole new ethos throughout the whole club.

2.0

Blogs/Arseblog news hound.. I can’t seem to be able to register with your live chat. It always shows me to register with 3-20 letters- characters(which is outstanding btw) plus numbers.. A little help please..

2.0

I tried Darth_Vader2.0 but not working.. plus not even my google account..

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