Chuba Akpom bagged another two goals to add to his impressive tally this season. How long before he is in the first team?
Arsenal’s youth team have had a reasonably successful season. With the added caveat of a fourth-place finish in the NextGen Series they can surely take pride on another excellent campaign.
But as always for some it has been more successful than others. While the start of the season saw much of the hype revolving around the young Germans Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eislfeld it has been another German who has come to the fore in recent weeks in the form of Gedion Zelalem.
However it would be hard to look beyond one player as the most eye-catching of all Arsenal’s youth team starlets; striking sensation Chuba Akpom.
We recently ran a story on the 17-year-old as we highlighted his excellent campaign in which he had scored 18 goals in 23 games; including an impressive 10 goals in his last nine appearances.
Well last night saw him play in the last match of the 2012-13 season; and add to his reputation and tally even further.
OK the game was perhaps not against the strongest of opposition. A mixed Arsenal development team travelled to take on Southern Football League outfit Wimborne Town in Dorset. The fixture was a benefit match raising funds for former Wimborne players Andy Culliford and Kevin James. Culliford; a fireman, is battling a rare form of motor neurone disease while James suffered a horrific leg injury playing for the non-league side two years ago and all the funds raised were in benefit for the former Wimborne players.
However Akpom was in no mood to take it easy on his non-league opposition. He started on the bench but after coming on in the second half it did not take him long to smash home two goals; that eventually proved the winning strikes in a 2-0 victory for an Arsenal XI.
It was the perfect sign off for the first-year scholar to an incredible season that has seen earn a first-team call-up and sign his first professional contract; as well as smash in goals left right and centre.
He now goes into the summer ready to highlight those talents on an international stage with England’s Under-19’s as they face Belgium, Georgia and Scotland in the Elite Qualifying round for the European Championships in Lithuania this July.
So expect to see Akpom’s name popping up throughout the summer as he leads the front lion for his country; hoping to earn a first-team bow next term.
image: © nextgenphoto