Akpom on Asia and his dream of making the Arsenal first team

Upcoming Arsenal talent Chuba Akpom has been talking about his time on the club’s pre-season tour of Asia, in which he put in several highly impressive performances. The youngster has managed to score 4 goals during pre-season with only Olivier Giroud getting more and being just 17 years of age, many people now have high hopes for the English striker.

Akpom was delighted with his time in Asia, and upon returning he told the media of his joy at being so involved:
“It was a good experience. It’s new for me because I’d never been to Asia and I’m not really around the first team. I had never really travelled with them [before]. I would like to do it more, so hopefully if I keep working hard and stay in the team [I can do it]. Now I know how they live, how they train and everything, and I’m kind of getting used to it. Hopefully I can stay here and keep coming on tours like this.

“My hand is hurting from signing so many autographs! You can see how famous the players are in Asia. We’ve been to a lot of signing sessions and a lot of events and I don’t really get to do that. It’s new for me but it’s a good experience. It motivates me. When you come out here and you see all of this, you want it yourself. You want people to be screaming your name and you want people to respect you. It makes me want to push more to get into the first team and get the same reputation that they have.”

Akpom is certainly living the dream that I’m sure so many of us Arsenal fans have at some point wanted to have their chance in an Arsenal shirt at his age. And at 17 years old or similar, a lot of players fail to make their stance, but not Chuba Akpom and if he keeps up his current progression he will certainly develop into a fantastic player.

Asia was a really good chance to see all the young players in action, as well as obviously the regular Arsenal players, but there is something special about seeing young talent perform on the pitch. It gives you hope for the future, and being able to recognise that this young player could grow and become one of Arsenal’s main players in the next few years, much like Jack Wilshere, or even Theo Walcott. Aside from Zelalem, Akpom was the player who impressed me the most, and also not forgetting Gnabry. It’s not easy to score 4 goals, despite the level of opposition and the fact that he managed to get more goals then a lot of the experienced regular first teamers just goes to show how well he played.

For some reason I can see Wenger keeping him within the squad and using him sparingly, alongside playing him in the reserves, but I think it would be better to see if he could go out on loan to a lower league club where he would get regular high competitive and professional football because once you’ve experienced the higher stages, it’s difficult to drop down again.

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