Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Chuba Akpom signs professional terms at Arsenal
Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom has had a lot to celebrate recently in what has been a whirlwind couple months for the youngster, cemented by today's news that he has signed his first professional contract upon turning 17.
Akpom follows Jack Jebb and Austin Lipman in signing professionally with the club, in what has been a busy month of youth football at The Arsenal.
Akpom, who made his debut for the U18s just two years ago in the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, incidentally alongside midfielder Jebb, has progressed from one level to the next this year.
He made his debut for Terry Burton's reserve side in the pre-season game at Borehamwood, where he scored a penalty and impressed generally, and since then, has established himself as a fixture in the team, keeping out the considerably more experienced Sanchez Watt.
As I said in a previous article, Akpom's strengths are varied. At 6ft2, he has the physical attributes - especially when married with his excellent hold up play and awareness - to make an effective target man. He also has the vision and skill to excel on the left wing or indeed in the no.10 position, just behind the main striker.
Such a multi-faceted skillset is rare to find in a man so young, not to mention his tremendous work rate and down-to-earth attitude.
Akpom has also shone on the international stage. He was called up to Noel Blake's England U19 side in September, at the age of 16, alongside stars such as Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Southampton's James Ward-Prowse. He scored three goals in two games for Blake's side, as well as grabbing an assist. Quite a return.
After scoring his last goal as a sixteen year old last night in the 2-0 defeat of Reading U21s - his first goal at reserve level - the young striker can dream of a trip to the Madjeski Stadium with Arsene Wenger's side, where they face eachother in the League Cup later this month.
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I interviewed the man himself not too long ago, which you can check out here.
You can send your congratulations in to Chuba, too.