The Loan Report: Chuba Akpom

Arsenal

Chuba Akpom has been loaned out to Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion for the remainder of the season.

The 21 year old will be hoping to make an impression at the Falmer Stadium – or as we know it ‘The Amex’ – to increase his hopes of returning and pushing for a first team slot with the Arsenal.

Akpom was sought after by a number of teams but Brighton finally got their man, pleasing manager Chris Hughton. Last season Akpom gained great experience with Hull City, making 36 appearances and scoring 3 goals in the Championship, even winning a winners medal, as Hull City won the playoff, promoting them into the Premier League.

He can now help Chris Hughton’s team this season, as the Seagulls look to push for automatic promotion.

Chuba Akpom is another player who really needs to impress in the next four months or risk being moved on to another club permanently.

What Chuba does possess is great pace and his ability to play off the last man, means he uses his asset well. Any ball over the top or two his feet with space to run into will provide chances. He also possess quick feet, so is able to dribble at defenders while at pace which, let’s be honest, majority of defenders hate.

What Akpom lacks is his heading ability. He isn’t the best in the air, in fact he is pretty shocking for a player of six foot tall. Also he isn’t the most composed in front of goal. He is able to get himself in great positions only for his finishing to let him down.

It seems Akpom’s best position is probably on the left or right side of a front three. Using his pace and dribbling skills to frighten defenders. Arsenal currently have a few players able to play in this position, so he really needs to start standing out and put pressure on players such as Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi. A tough ask I know.

Supporters however like Akpom. He’s been at the club since the age of 6 and has come through the youth academies. This is now his fifth time out on loan, but with another team battling for promotion, there is a real chance for him to shine.

He has started one League Cup game for Arsenal and appeared as substitute on seven occasions in the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. He flew out with the first team squad at the start of the season and scored a hat-trick in the Barclays Asia Trophy preseason tour match. Supporters thought maybe it was time for Akpom to finally breakthrough into the first team squad. Clearly a season at Hull had improved him as a player. However an injury has kept him out until December where he returned to first team training only. The injury was certainly a setback, but now with the loan to Brighton, this is his chance to get some game time.

You feel that the next four months are vital for Chuba Akpom. Fans would love to see him fight for a first team place. With his pace and skill on the ball, he has every chance.