Steve Bruce has spoken wonders of Arsenal loanee, Chuba Akpom, following the strikers impressive start to life in the Championship.
The 19-year-old linked up with Hull City at the beginning of mid-August after finalising a deal to join Bruce’s side for the 2015/16 season.
And since then, the youngster has picked up two goals in three appearances for the Tigers, as well as a host of positive performances under his new Championship side.
Akpom looked set to finally break into the Gunners senior squad this season after Arsene Wenger stated he would not send the English youth international out on loan.
However, the return of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck convinced the Arsenal boss that a fourth loan spell away from the Emirates would be the best option for his development.
Step in Steve Bruce, as the veteran manager pounced on the chance to sign the centre forward, and has since rewarded his newest recruit with two starts and one substitute appearance.
Chuba has a chance, doesn’t he? Wow!
He has a lot to do and a lot to learn, but, in terms of raw talent, you don’t have to watch him long to realise the natural ability that he had. Only a few are blessed with that.
Akpom didn’t take long to make a name for himself at the KC Stadium, after stroking home on the 71st minute to give the home side a comfortable 2-0 victory against Huddersfield.
His services were required for a second time during the Capital One Cup tie against Accrington Stanley, as he came on as a 60th minute substitute and broke the deadlock during extra time.
Three goals later and the game ended in penalties, where Akpom found his feet again to coolly slot home from the spot, leading the Tigers into the second round after winning 4-3 on penalties.
Those performances earned the striker another starting place in this weekends Championship tie against Wolves, and you can check out how he got on by reading this weeks loan watch.
Bruce suggested that Akpom, who can also play on the left and right wings, should have a chance in the Premier League, by adding that his ability can only strengthen.
He has to learn and this league will teach him that. Had he scored, that would have been three in three for him. It’s been a wonderful start.
He turns round and runs at defenders, that is when it is tough for the opposition. He has an outstanding chance because of his ability.
But despite the brilliant start he has had to life with Bruce’s side, who are targeting an instant return to the Premier League, question marks have been raised from some Arsenal fans.
Akpom’s ability is clear to see through his statistics at youth level with the Gunners, but he has failed to capture his chance with the first team for several reasons.
The likes of Alexis, Giroud and Walcott may provide some top talent to follow in the footsteps of, but without realistic competition among the senior side, he will struggle to get any minutes.
And let’s not forget that during loan spells at Coventry, Brentford and Nottingham Forest, the striker failed to score on a number of appearances.
Now before we get too hasty with the striker, his recent turn of form is certainly something to open your eyes to, and let’s not forget his pre-season hat-trick against Singapore XI.
There is no doubt that he has the talent, but unless he is nurtured properly by a manager that cares about the development of young players, he won’t change.
Through Steve Bruce he will understand the strikers situation, the manager has been there and done it all before at every level of football.
If you were to see Akpom over-performing at a lower league club, then I’m pretty sure his attitude would be one Wenger is not too keen on.
He needs to be disciplined and understand that it will take time to become a top-level striker, because in recent games he seems to think he is better than he already is.
I see a bright future for Akpom whether he’s playing at Arsenal or not, and you will definitely see him picking up success at Hull City, let’s just hope Wenger picks up on it as well.