Arsenal youngster hints on Twitter illness cost him Premier League chance

Chuba Akpom

Arsenal fans watched Nicklas Bendtner come off the bench yesterday, but could it have been Chuba Akpom instead had it not been for illness.

It's folly to even discuss whether Olivier Giroud is Arsenal's number one striker, but as for who the number two should be is up for debate.

Lukas Podolski is out injured making him a non-option at present, while Theo Walcott is also in the midst of a spell on the sidelines.

Arsene Wenger confirmed Yaya Sanogo is still not quite ready to come-back from a back injury, so the Gunners' options were very limited heading into their 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

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The Frenchman had appeared to select Nicklas Bendtner as his back-up, bringing him on for the last five minutes - in which the Dane touched the ball just three times.

So the Bendtner the current back-up to Giroud? Perhaps the situation is not so clear-cut, as Wenger may have been forced into it.

Vying for a place in the first team is free-scoring teenager Chuba Akpom, the 17-year-old who has come off the bench twice this season for the first team, and netted twice in a 4-1 win for the under-19s against Napoli on Wednesday.

That may have been enough to propel him into the reckoning for a place on the first team bench again, only for illness to strike, as he revealed on Twitter on Sunday afternoon after the final whistle.

It makes you wonder if Bendtner would have been on the Premier League pitch at all for the final five minutes of yesterday's game, or whether Wenger would have thrown Akpom into the mix instead.

In a weekend where Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj illustrated age is just a number when it comes to talent in the Premier League, it would not have been a surprise for Arsene Wenger, the biggest believer in the talents at Arsenal's academy to have made an equally bold decision.

The good news is for Akpom, there will be plenty more opportunities when he is no longer ill. For Nicklas Bendtner, his clock is ticking well into the thirteenth hour already.

Who would you rather see Wenger play, Akpom or Bendtner?

image: © Kieran Clarke

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