He could hardly have got the latest phase of his career with Arsenal off to a better start, with a well taken hat-trick against the Singapore Select XI side to cap off an impressive performance, but is the young England international striker Chuba Akpom really the answer to our striker problem?
We do not even know for sure whether Arsene Wenger sees the striker situation at the club as a problem to be honest, but I am going to assume that the boss, like the Arsenal fans, would welcome some more firepower up front for the Gunners.
There were reports in the paper this week suggesting that the Frenchman was going to give the 19-year old a really good chance to impress during pre-season. Akpom certainly did that and will have enjoyed a good boost to his confidence levels at the same time. His all round game was good, highlighting his pace, power, movement and of course, finishing power.
So it was no surprise to hear the manager full of praise for him after the game, as reported by the Daily Mail. Wenger also backed up the reports that Akpom was due to be handed a chance to impress for the first team in the coming season, after spending the end of the last one on loan at Nottingham Forest.
Wenger said, “I won’t send him on loan. I sent him out on loan last year. I thought he needed that.
“This season no, I plan to keep him with us. It’s down to performance and attitude and he has enough of that way to be a big talent. And, after that, he has to be an efficient player week in, week out, that’s the target.
“It’s down to him. This will give him encouragement to do well and work even harder. He’s a young player and it can lift confidence. The confidence you sense in the dressing room from other players is important as well. That can help you.
“But let’s not forget it’s a friendly. He’s a good talent but he has to work and show that in every game.”
So the next few weeks are massive for young Akpom but if we get to the end of the Emirates cup and he is still looking like the real deal, could Wenger have found the answer to the striker dilemma? And with Alexis joining the Arsenal squad late, could Akpom be set for a start against Chelsea in the Community Shield?