Akpom joins Coventry City on loan


Source: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe

Source: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe

UPDATE: Akpom has joined League One side Coventry City on loan until the end of the season, meaning he will be unavailable for the majority of Arsenal’s youth team fixtures in the coming months. It is possible that he could still feature in the FA Youth Cup against Charlton Athletic, but his temporary departure means that Austin Lipman, himself only just back from a loan spell with Boreham Wood, is now Arsenal’s only recognised striker at U21 level.

 

Chuba Akpom returned from his month-long loan spell with Brentford this week, with the 18 year old set to provide Arsenal’s various youth sides with a much-needed attacking option at a crucial point of the campaign.

Akpom featured four times for the League One side but failed to establish himself as a regular during his time at Griffin Park. The England U19 international, who has featured twice for the Arsenal first-team this season, could make his comeback for his parent club when the U21s travel to face Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Monday night in their latest league fixture.

With Arsenal languishing in 13th place in the table and some 14 points adrift of league leaders Fulham, albeit with two games in hand, the chances of Steve Gatting’s team being crowned Champions at the end of the season appear rather remote.

They do, however, have an increasingly realistic chance of success in the inaugural U21 Premier League Cup, a competition in which Akpom is poised to play a key part. After defeating Chelsea in extra-time in the Quarter-Finals, the Gunners will host either Wolverhampton Wanderers or Reading at home in the last four of the competition.

The games are coming thick and fast for the club at all levels, with the U19 side preparing to take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the Last 16 of the UEFA Youth League a week on Tuesday. Akpom has been Arsenal’s first-choice striker in the competition so far, scoring three goals in four starts in the group stages, and is expected to be entrusted with a starting berth again despite the fact that fellow forward Austin Lipman is temporarily back from his loan spell at Boreham Wood.

Akpom could also feature in the FA Youth Cup tie against Charlton in a week’s time, with Arsenal having learnt that their reward for a victory in that game would be a home tie, most likely played at Emirates Stadium, against either Sheffield United or Everton.

The U18s also have two much-anticipated league games on the horizon, with tomorrow’s trip to face Chelsea followed by a home game against Tottenham Hotspur, although the latter fixture may yet be rearranged due to Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup commitments.

7 comments

  1. I wish!

    He’s gone to Coventry on loan for rest of year. Not sure I like the decision. He significantly improved our chances in Youth cup and Youth Champ league and could also have played a big part in u21 semi. Also, thought they could be loaned out at any time now, so why not keep him for a month and aim for best of both worlds.

    I guess this is pretty definitive proof that they regard loan experience much higher than success in the youth competitions.

    1. Maybe younger strikers like Hinds will take the place instead? I don’t think Akpom will make it. There are many good strikers out there and even younger ones are coming up fast from all over the world. Benik Afobe played regularly and was one of the best in his team at 17-18 years old in League 1. Benik did played quite a few games in Championship the year after and is now in Championship again. I hope he becomes the teams best player. I honestly can’t see the amazing talent in Akpom.

      1. Imo akpom has far more to his game than afobe and looks a more complete player. Afobe was far stronger as a 17 year old as akpom ist now

      2. @JamesPond I am pretty sure Akpom is strong enough in league 1. Just so you know.. more muscles mass does not equal more strength. Being weak has never been a problem for Akpom. If Akpom got more to his game then lets see that. I do not see that. Benik Afobe at 17-18 was one of Englands best striker at his age. Having more skills does not mean a better player either. Its what you do with what you have that matter the most. Akpom needs to prove how good he is now when first team football matter.

  2. Jeorge, according to a tweet, Zelalem will be off with Germany for quite a long spell at end of month and beginning of next, I take it international commitments take total priority over club engagements in youth football?

    Might be one of the slight downsides of bringing in good foreign lads : their administrators probably look to schedule things with their own youth calendars in mind, and ours obviously aren’t a factor. Wouldn’t surprise me though if they made exemptions from that youth training squad for any home-based players with UCL commitments

    Bit of a pain isn’t it, given the games in that period! It’s been remarkable this year so far how infrequently we’ve been able to put together something that resembles our strongest side, because of one reason or another- loans out, injuries, int call ups- I guess you just have to forget about lineups featuring the very best on our books as a gauge of strength, for any given age-group, and look at how people do individually on the day

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