While the search for options to strengthen the team this winter continues, plans are underway to secure the future of some of Arsenal’s most highly-rated youngsters as a 3-year deal is reportedly being proposed to 19-year old striker, Chuba Akpom.
The England Under-20 star man is in the final six months of his current deal and a host of clubs from around Europe are already knocking at the doors, including Borussia Dortmund but while England Under-21 striker, Benik Afobe, has all but joined Wolves from his current loan spell at MK Dons, Wenger appears to see a bit more in Chuba to have given him the conviction to make the offer of a new deal.
The plethora of attacking options available at the moment has not given the youngster ample opportunity to make as many first team appearances as he might have expected and it is thought that he might be having considerations over his future as his deal runs out. A regular with the Arsenal Under-21s, three substitute first team appearances – the latest being in the FA Cup victory over Hull – would be somewhat underwhelming for a striker with so much potential and a recognized keenness for goal. However, Wenger is not going to let him go just yet and the offer of a new contract should be a sign of belief in his abilities and a pledge, perhaps, that his chances will come.
With Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo both out on loan till the end of the season, it leaves Chuba with more hopes of making first team games with only Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck as his main rivals now, as it is obvious Joel Campbell is not seriously considered by Wenger as an out-and-out Arsenal center-forward. He did a lot of running in those final minutes against Hull but it possible to think a start against Brighton Hove and Albion won’t do him no harm.
Much like Welbeck, Chuba is a quick and powerful workaholic, with a chisel-spear right foot. He has the gliding approach that draws memories of the great Thierry Henry albeit being a couple of inches less in frame. His last start for the first team was in last season’s third-round League Cup tie at West Brom but has continued to play regularly in the Under-21 Premier League as well as the Youth Champions League.
If given more opportunities, he could benefit from the immense creative and attacking potential in the Arsenal first team, where his pace and movement could compliment the inventiveness of players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Fellow speedstars in Walcott and Welbeck can also be made to pair with him to bring out the best of his killer instincts and who knows, he could be the real successor to the Thierry Henry throne that has long lain vacant.
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