Wenger talks up Akpom’s striking qualities

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he wants to include Chuba Akpom in his first team plans for the coming season. The 19-year-old youngster impressed all watching Arsenal fans in the first match of Arsenal’s pre-season tour. Akpom scored a hat-trick as he helped Arsenal beat Singapore Select XI 4-0 in the semi-final of the Barclays Asia Trophy final yesterday and the Gunners now advance to play the final against Everton on Saturday.

The English teenager has made just four senior appearances for the Gunners. He joined the club at the age of six and was long penciled to be a future English player. He shunned interest from Premier League rivals to sign a new long-term contract last season to stay at the Emirates.

He had brief loan spells away from the club at Brentford, Coventry City and Nottingham Forest. These spells, however, could not provide him with the platform to showcase his talent. There were rumours that Wenger wants to sign a quality striker to provide competition to Olivier Giroud and that may have resulted in another loan spell for Akpom, but new signings or not, Wenger now wants to keep Akpom firmly at the club for the new season. The manager insists that the teenager has the potential to make it big at the club and will soon be given a chance at the Emirates Stadium.

“I am delighted and not surprised because he has a killer instinct, you can feel his aggressive desire in the box,” Wenger said about Akpom.

“That capacity to push defenders away, brush them away with his power is there. He needs to work hard and hopefully he will be encouraged by his three goals.

“This is the age [where] you want them to push on. You can see that the other players see that when he plays he can score a goal for them. He will be fed by the confidence of them, so that is good.”

Wenger could be thinking of Akpom as cover for Giroud and the currently injured Danny Welbeck. Otherwise his options will be to involve Alexis Sanchez or Theo Walcott as strikers, unless he goes on to sign a new striker.

Coming to the match, there were times in the first half when Arsenal were frustrated by the hosts. The second half was completely dominated by the Gunners but Wenger was overall happy to see the workout for his team in the first pre-season game.

Akpom may well realise that this hat-trick may not have come against quality opposition but it definitely caught the eye of his manager. It would have guaranteed him a place in the final against Everton which could prove a sterner test.

But, a bigger test would be to challenge for the striker position. There is enough encouragement from Wenger for the young forward and it is now up to Akpom to cash on that. As Wenger said, it is now down to performance and attitude of the player to achieve better things. The talent was never in question….


Tags Akpom Wenger


  1. OT

    All our players look more muscular and fit in general this season (i’m talking about the training/ swimming pool pics as evidence not the tight away kit). Also injures have been down 25% and its been the least amount of injuries in 5 years! Well Done shad forsythe and carry on with your great work!!!

      1. Arteta actually did not recovered the calf injury from last season. I doubt he will do that soon.

        1. our injuries have got a hell of a lot better. as said above Arteta didn’t fully recover from last season

          1. The contract was in the pipeline in the middle of the last season already, everybody here knew that. All that Arteta had to do was to sign it. Is not like no one knew, let’s be serious.

          2. I read somewhere that he has a great off the pitch influence on the players, he also took a cut to join us and maybe the wages hacvent been increasing , he is nonetheless our capttain and i personally dont want to se another captain go.

            1. There is much to be said for experience; a lot happens behind the scenes that we don’t see.

        2. We simply cannot rely on arteta as cover to lecoq. He’s old and gets injured more often, we need new blood in that position. Wenger please buy a DM. Please

      1. Wenger is so stupid, he missed out on World class Falcao and Balotelli last season…Arsenal fan logic, Anelka (17) and TH14 (22 and redeployed as a left back for Juve) are not worldclass, not good enough for Arsenal. Ever wondered why players like Fabianski never made it at Arsenal? We never support our players, we do everything to kill their morale and confidence, even if we bought Messi, we Arsenal fans will destroy his confidence, even Messi would wonder if he wasn’t being over-hyped all along lol. We are a legendary set of fans.

      1. Welbeck paid of his 16 million transfer fees the day he scored that FA cup winner against Man. u at old trafford, afterall Falcao got 16 million for just one year, scored 4 goals and he is gone! Welbeck is still ours, young and full of possibilities too, scored twice as many goals as Falcao. My point is strikers are dime a dozen, proven strikers who will adapt quickly are hard to come by, won’t be surprised if Falcao actually starts tearing teams apart in his secong EPL season. Don’t bet your house on Lacazette or Benzema being our Messiah.

        1. Well we know Giroud isn’t our Messiah. You wont be singing the same tune if we come in 4th this season. Arsenal have a lot of money to spend and can afford to take the relatively low risk on Lacazette and Benzema. Lacazette has now had 2 great seasons for Lyon. Frenchmen adapt quickly here, I think Lacazette’s pace will make him adapt quicker to our style as well compared to Giroud. And Benzema is more than a proven forward. They are low risk, high reward signings.

          1. So we keep stock piling players in a hit miss kinda way, right? Would I say no to Benzema? But does the prospect of Benzema excite that much like say Sanchez or Cech did? This team as much as it needs a bit of upgrading, should not be upgraded with players who are not going to make a visible difference to what we have already.

            1. Benzema is MILES better than Giroud. Don’t care if it excites you or not, he’s a very clear jump in quality.

              1. I’ll accept Benzema is “miles better” than Giroud, prettier to watch, faster, more tricks, better highlight reels, plays for a sexier team but you have got to get pretty creative to explain his 14.5 league goal average per season and explain why that is worth a £40M punt. If he was knocking in 14 or 15 a season for 6 years at Levante or Eibar he wouldn’t get a mention. You can give the stock answer of “Ronaldo” but Real score 100+ nearly every season. If you take Ronaldo’s goals out from their last season’s total it still left 70 goals to be scored by the rest of the team, just one less than our team got last season. And he was no more prolific at Lyon (without Ronaldo) and has about the same goal/game ratio for France. I’d rather get someone younger and hungrier on board who may not have reached their potential yet – prefer the bigger risk with Lacazette for even £30M.

  2. Question
    if wenger doesn’t win the title this season should he leave & bring in klopp/simmeone/ancelotti ???

    wenger says he didn’t have money but look at simmeone/klopp what they did

    1. Klopp almost went relegated with Dortmund while Simeone ended miles from Real and Barcelona and got lucky to finish above Valencia and Sevilla.

      1. both won titles against odds both teams played in cl final could have won as well while we make it to round of 16 every year

        1. Not against odds, very predictable. Klopp won it years back when Bayern blew it in UCL and same with Atletico, everyone expected them to at least draw with Barcelona (because that’s what they do best) in the last game. Well, they won, same thing. Real Madrid showed them what is to play football in the final.
          Nevertheless, respect for what they have achieved but these leagues are usually a two horse race. I want to see them in a cold, rainy December afternoon at Stoke or Bournemouth.

          1. To be honest klopp is a character we could use so much, he is the kind of coach I would like to see at arsenal,full of passion and will demand the board for world class signings instead of relying on old and slow players like flamini and arteta

      2. Exactly, Budd. You had to pick the one and only time Klopp missed it. Very easy to forget all he accomplished with Dortmund on a small budget.

        1. Come on mate – poor little Dortmund? Can’t have it both ways – 2nd richest club in Germany and 11th most valuable club in the world. Massive club. Same ball-park as us – if they are deemed poor/small budget then so are we.

  3. Wenger hints that Akpom will not go out on loan this season, so we might not sign a new striker this season. But if no striker, at least a DM or another CB or world class wingers

  4. Off topic

    I hope Monreal doesn’t leave. Anyone bought in as his replacment will be a downgrade. Finally we find one of our best LB in 10 seasons and he is now rumoured to leave.

    If that’s the case then you know Wenger needs to go unless the only reason is Monreal misses his homeland. Give the guy a better contract extension.

    Wenger even says we are not a selling club anymore, lets see if he keeps up to his words.

    The two players he spoke of wanting to buy 1 will most likely be a replacement who knows maybe even 2 replacements.

    1. I agree with you, great player, very pro, low profile, solid, consistent, mature.
      I really really hope he stays until he ends his career

  5. Would Van Gaal or Mourinho give Arteta another year ? that’s what seperates wenger from them

    flamini won’t make it to any top 6 six squad in PL

    1. Fair enough with Mourinho but Van Gal has been awful. Please explain to me what he has done to warrant any praise whatsoever.

      Agree on Flamini; he is poor.

    2. Definitely not. This is what sets them apart although Mourinho have his favorites too (Drogba, Eto’o which he signed even if they were crap). LvG is a poor people’s manager, let’s see if players follow him this season. Flamini is crap but I am ready to bet that he can easy find a team in EPL. Not necessary top 6, but why does it matter? It is EPL.

    3. well….they di sign Torres and Falcao…
      Thing is, and I am not a full Business supporter, but these guys can get away with anything because they couldnt care less about losses

  6. Anyone seen the Arsenal swimming pool keepy-uppies? Cazorla is a legend. We’re lucky to have him 😛

  7. I feel that giving arteta another year would just show Arsenal’s depth along with flamini in the circumstances Wenger cannot find alternatives for the team. The Serie A teams have unusually been a problematic zone for the team whereas teams like Man city,tottenham,Liverpool and chelsea are getting the players they want from the league. For e.g. Higuain is valued by de laurentis at 67 million euros but arsenal are offering only 43 but since the president knows as long as higuain misses bloopers in international but is superb in the league lot of teams won’t run after him. Arsene Wenger has to wait till the last weeks of transfer window for any big transfer.

  8. lol…i enjoy reading the comments better than the articles. someone told me we shouldn’t get carried away by wenger’s comment cause he’s always been a crook, if he buys lacazette and he becomes our best player that Giroud who’s currently our best striker will be sold…buys Gotze and if he becomes our best AM, wenger will quickly cash in on Carzola..say the same for other players..its simple logic man, why would Wenger stop selling for money? we definitely will sell our best players but in wenger’s crooked way

    1. Giroud is already 29. He can’t improve beyond this, that’s a fact. However, when he’s in form he’s a deadly machine. New striker needed. Fact.

      1. well he hasnt stopped improving, not by miles but a fair 20% and even if he improves only a 10% in 3 years time, we would only benefit from that.
        But i agree with you, when hes on fire he is unstoppable.

        1. Every year though Giroud has a vein of form and then completely drops off. Even playing a little over half a season the same thing still happened. Giroud is not capable of playing at the level required for a full season. We always lose games because of his poor finishing at some point.

  9. Did Walcott and Monreal sign new contract?
    I don’t like those talks and rumours about Bilbao reading a fee for Monreal… I don’t want to be stuck with Gibbs as a first choice LB… Nothing is impossible at Arsenal even the mediocre, but it would be suicide! Especially since Wenge said he will not buy another defender… But again we started last season with 3CB…!!

    Major trophies?
    Who said we were even going for major trophies?
    Who even said that we were going for the league?
    Not Wenger!
    He is not mad, he knows we don’t have the tools and he is himself not equipped (managerial skills) to start thinking about doing it…

    Anyway, we are talking about the same stuff every season. The all transfer market is a “secret”. Why? Nobody knows really, it is not like we are “rocking” the football world every season and winning trophies for fun. Trying to make it like this club is special in European! It is special for the Arsenal who deserve more respect from that liability of a manager and from those f*ckers in the board.

    We just deserve more, way more… It is not normal and things should not be conducted that way. I cannot remember the last we were serious contender for anything major.

    Pundits in France and Germany are saying that some teams are hoping to get Arsenal in the CL… This is how fragile and weak we are in Europe (Well in the league too… I don’t think anybody is afraid of playing us now).

  10. @Eddy Hoyte

    Spot on
    Another fan getting thumbs down by stating the obvious…!!

    Some fans really think that Wenger will take us somewhere… It is over!

    Players like Cazorla, Monreal, Ozil, Sanchez, Koscielny, Giroud, and even Walcott will move very soon because they know they won’t achieve “greatness” here, that is just a fact.
    Unless we win the league this season coming, the flux of our best players will start… Most of them are in their late 20’s… They are not going to wait around for something that is never going to come!!

    Even Thierry Henry left because he knew that if he wanted to win major trophies he had to upgrade.
    So did the Nasri, Fabregas and more… The Sanchez, Ozil, Koscielny will do the same…

  11. don’t be surprised gooners just be happy with cech arrival. he is gonna be the only signing this summer.

  12. Telegraph reported in May that flamini was for sale. Our only offer has been from Sc Bastia, a relegated French team in turmoil.

    1. I have to agree about Flamini. I mean everyone can see he is horrendous, he was alright for the first season, last – he was just utter toilet.

      But far as I understand, his contract ends next summer and no club EVER has paid a transfer fee for him.. So I’m afraid we are running charity and sticking with Arteta and Flamini for the whole next season..

  13. yea thumb me down all you want… but am tired of bragging bout FA cup holders for two straight season..its becoming boring since we are enjoying the FA cup.. Sanchez said it was sweet bitter experience for him,shows the dude has been aiming higher even before signing for us, Now you think if we keep coming 3rd,2nd or 4th with d FA cup he’ll stay? he’s hungry,he needs the main prize,he needs the main dish,not some snacks in the name of FA cup and 3rd position. if wenger doesnt upgrade the team and fight for the league you think sanchez will get a mat and sleep at the emirates? ozil? santi? even wilshere if barca and bayern comes back?? If they want to leave can you or wenger hold em back?? #fact_IF WENGER DOESN’T SIGN TO WIN THE EPL,AND IT GOES ON,OUR BEST PLAYERS WILL LEAVE TO GO GET TROPHIES ELSEWHERE.SO TELL ME WENGER WILL END UP SELLING OUR BEST PLAYERS OR NOT?

    1. Congrats on not being deluded. Sanchez is going to be gone quicker than most Gooners want if we dont come up with a title. Right now Wenger is the only person holding this team back.

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