Akpom hoping for final chance to salvage Arsenal career

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A host of young players left Arsenal during the summer transfer window but, rather surprisingly, Chuba Akpom was not amongst them.

Having been omitted from the travelling squad for the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and China, it appeared that Akpom’s long association with Arsenal was set to come to a conclusion.

However, an injury suffered during a pre-season friendly for the U23s against Leyton Orient delayed a deal from happening and, even though he has since returned to full fitness, the striker remains on Arsenal’s books, until January at least.

Although he is still young, Akpom can no longer be classified as a youth player. He turns 22 next month and will have to take up a senior squad space if he is to be eligible to represent Arsenal in the Premier League and the Europa League.

Thankfully, with several players having moved on either permanently or temporarily in the closing stages of the transfer window, there is now space for Akpom to be included on both squad lists, indicating that the Hale End product may well get one last chance to salvage his Arsenal career.

At one stage it appeared almost inevitable that Akpom would at least be given a sustained run of games in the first-team at Arsenal but that outcome hasn’t transpired and the attacker has been unable to make any sort of impact during his various loan spells.

In fact, across his stints with Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Brighton & Hove Albion, he has mustered just seven goals in 79 games across all competitions – a woeful return for a striker.

Yet Akpom clearly possesses at least some talent – he was prolific for Arsenal at youth level and developed a habit of scoring for the first-team in pre-season friendlies, while he has also been impressive for the various England development sides.

Most notably he has had some encouraging outings on the rare occasions that he has featured competitively for the Arsenal first-team – he won a penalty against Aston Villa in the Premier League three seasons ago, while last campaign he impressed in the EFL Cup victory over Nottingham Forest.

Injuries have also hampered Akpom’s progress and it appeared very likely that there would be a parting of the ways between him and Arsenal.

He is still at the club, however, and will initially play at U23 level, while he will be aiming to be involved in the League Cup and the Europa League.

With the talented Eddie Nketiah making great strides, there is no guarantee that Akpom will get any first-team game time but he will hope to be given one final chance to impress at the club.

Whereas previously Akpom could have been accused of being rather selfish in terms of his playing style, he does appear to have developed as a consequence of his loans and can now be seen dropping deeper and playing impressive passes for his team-mates to run onto.

He will now be hoping to get back into Arsene Wenger’s plans in some capacity.

Jeorge Bird is the author of http://arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/, follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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34 Comments on "Akpom hoping for final chance to salvage Arsenal career"

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Jacob

Fuck it. Why not. Who cares anymore. Really, really want Reiss Nelson to be given a go. But while we’re at it, why not bed in a few more youth players

NelsonAFC

Got more will to achieve then some of the others laca , kolasinac and a few of the youngsters including holding are the only players i have faith in

Ivan Drago

Project Youth Mk. II? Sure may as well

Faisal Narrage

I’m game for it. More exciting than watching this dross.

Put Beilik back as a DM. Over the past decade I’ve seen young players at good position get moved for Wengerisms only to never ever look as good in their new positions with the suspicions they just look like a player being played out of position. For all the issues of Ox, he was never a fullback. Theo is the most limited Arsenal player ever, but in truth, seemed like he was bought to be a striker in a 2-man forward system. Gibbs always looked like a winger being made to play fullback, and we’re seeing the same in Bellerin. Coq is a DM, not a CM. Ramsey and Diaby were always no.10s asked to be no.8s. Djourou looked really class as a DM, but as a CB he ALWAYS looked average and never adjusted. He could’ve been a top quality DM, but became a typical Arsenal CB. Song was a DM who at first was getting Djououred into a CB before getting Flamini’ed into a CM.

Beilik looked utterly class as a DM, looked a cut above and ready for the first team as soon as he arrived. This was a kid playing in the first team for Legia in Poland at 16. But the simple truth is though he’s been pretty good since his move to CB, he hasn’t looked half as good as he did as a DM, where he looked amazing.

Wenger needs to let go of his dislike for DMs and let Beilik be that.

Faisal Narrage

Also add Havard Nortdveit to that list. Looked really promising as a DM, but the move to CB significantly stunted his development for years, till he finally moved back to it in Germany (but by then many years of key development had been lost).

Thinking about it, wow, we do this a lot. Djourou, Coquelin, Nortdveit, Song, etc. All Great DMs at academy levels we changed because Wenger doesn’t like DMs, and forever altered their career development and path.

caligunner

All of them would have made it and become world class I swear but we’ll never know because Wenger destroyed their careers. Shame on Wenger for doing that to these players. Stunted their growth and now they will never reach their world class potential. How many world class players we could have had and then transfer them out and get huge fees in return? Since we would be developing soo many world class players every year from the academy. We would be the envy of the football powers.

Lol get off this would of, should of, could of crap. These guys will reach their potential if they want to because its about desire barring injury and attitude.

Faisal Narrage

I’m sure in your simple world everything is as black and white as that.

Tasmanian Jesus

Song..?
He actually played as a DM for us if i remember correctly.
Its more on him that he wanted more to be JayJay than the good DM he could have been.

Vonnie

Couldn’t agree more, I was really excited about him and then Arsene made him a CB, which I think is utterly wrong and I hope it doesn’t spoil his career.

George

I’d love to see that too.

Looney

All the best lad

The Truth

Would have loved to have seen him become a genuine, home-grown success, though unfortunately that ship sailed a while ago 😔

meletios

Good for him.

NY Gooner

“Woeful return”??? No worse than Welbeck. Perhaps what he needs is to be allowed to play his own game. When Arsenal came to New Jersey to play the Red Bulls he absolutely terrorized the opponents; but he was everywhere up front, and made quite a few penetrating runs with the ball. Not exactly the Wegner way. He and Bellerin really shined in that game.

A different George

His “woeful return” was in the Championship, for several clubs with different managers–if you blame Wenger for this, you are not thinking straight. I am not convinced of the predictive value of his success against Red Bulls in a friendly (which, by the way, *was* under Wenger’s stewardship). My guess is that Joel Campbell would contend for top scorer in MLS.

ClockEndRider

Maybe he can have a go at centre half. It must be his turn soon.

akan

Unfortunately he will never be given the chance by this manager

cagooner

You are dead right. AW has become a stubborn arrogant fool. Actually he became it a long time ago. I wish he would jsut fuck off and give us our club back. I can’t believe there is so little commentary on this site about what went down this week. Ox leaves for less money than offered here because he has completely lost the faith. Then we are willing to sell our best player, despite saying we wouldn’t, only to pull out because the young French replacement won’t join us. What a shambles Arsene is overseeing right now. His legacy is wearing away by the day. Fuck off before you get run out of town….

caligunner

Lol whatever you feel about AW is fine either way. To say Ox left for less money because he lost faith? Maybe you might be right but he rejected Chelsea for a reason. He wants to be a CM. If AW for whatever reason doesn’t want to really play him there then thats that. We’ll see how good he really is.

Tusikon

He’s 22 and has done nothing in his career, he probably won’t do anything either… What a horrible way to ‘grow’ a player.

Matt

He’s way better than Welbeck; just play him in the Europa league or cups

Danny

No. No he isn’t.

Big Dave

Well his chances have just improved, we’ve just sold 24 players…. Fancy a go at Centre back?

Ashish Chandra

He can’t be worse than Welbeck…

Purr Mertesacker

Might as well. I say bench all the divas that dont want to play for the Arsenal and give the young’ns a chance. They possibly couldn’t do any worse, and wont throw tantrums at the least.

Faisal Narrage

“In fact, across his stints with Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Brighton & Hove Albion, he has mustered just seven goals in 79 games across all competitions – a woeful return for a striker.”

As prolific as he was, I always felt he was a step below Afobe. Still, I do think we at Arsenal are too beholden to the idea that exceptional players show it young. This is the case with people writing off Malen, because “if he was exceptional, he’d be in the squad at 18”. But for every Messi (exceptional talent showing it young), there is a Bojan (exceptional talent showing it young but that is their limit) and there is a Harry Kane (who showed hardly any prolific ability on any of his loans, yet at a later age, it all suddenly clicked, and he’s now arguably the league’s best striker).

Not everyone develops at the same rate. Maybe if we gave younger players a bit more chance before writing them off, they might display their potential more, rather than fans binning them and writing them off early.

caligunner

Honestly Malen I think would be a bad example. I think he probably just wanted to go back home and play. Plus he has easier path through PSV then he would here to get to X1.

Faisal Narrage

“In fact, across his stints with Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Brighton & Hove Albion, he has mustered just seven goals in 79 games across all competitions – a woeful return for a striker.”

Hmmm, might need to speak to Perez and Chambers about that.

Faisal Narrage

Sorry, meant to quote this;
“He will now be hoping to get back into Arsene Wenger’s plans in some capacity.”

caligunner

I’m not defending AW but you are making it out like Arsenal is missing the boat with CA. Like this article has said that he hasn’t really impressed on loans. Not even a really good run of games. Not everyone makes it through the academy and some are going to slip through and eventually make it elsewhere

ronaldo

another crap youth player, this team is bad enough without adding more crap to it

Stevie_bk_ny

Love it when players other teams are not keen on taking on (Akpom, Debuchy, Jeff) are hoping to salvage their Arsenal careers.

Mesut O\'Neill

A goal every 10 games, just what we need from our striker!!

YaGunnersYa

I would be as sad to lose him as I was with Benik Afobe. I thougt he looked sprightly when playing with the senior team but there is some way to go in terms of realising the potential that we know his talent can deliver. The next few months could be the most important for his career as I imagine that opportunities as a striker in the first team this season will be few and far between.

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