Hale End products Akpom and Iwobi are re-united on the senior stage



Chuba Akpom and Alex Iwobi were re-united on the pitch yesterday, with both players achieving notable feats in their young careers as Arsenal swatted aside a Singapore Select XI in their opening pre-season fixture.

Akpom and Iwobi, two Hale End products, rose through the ranks together at Arsenal but their respective paths have deviated a little in recent years, with Akpom having been sent out on loan on several occasions and Iwobi instead spending much of his time developing in the U21s.

Yesterday, though, they were back in the same team, with both players involved from the offset in the Premier League Asia Trophy. Iwobi, operating on the left flank, made his first-team debut, whilst Akpom, as has been well documented, hit an impressive hat-trick.

Both players have developed tremendously well of late. For a time it seemed that Akpom was well ahead of his close friend, with the striker having already been officially promoted to the Arsenal first-team squad in addition to spending time out on loan.

Iwobi, though, enjoyed a superb end to the 2014/15 season at U21 level, helped, incidentally, by the fact that he was deployed more often as a central-striker as he filled the void that had been vacated by Akpom’s temporary departure to Nottingham Forest.

The new campaign is set to bring fresh challenges for both players. Iwobi seems set for a loan spell at some stage as he seeks to prove that he is capable of competing in senior football. For Akpom, the situation is a little less clear, although manager Arsene Wenger suggested yesterday that his intention, as things stand at least, it to keep the forward at Arsenal for the new campaign rather than send him out on loan again.

Quite how much game time Akpom would receive in such a scenario is open to debate. Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell may well leave on loan and permanently respectively, but even then Akpom would still be competing with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and, potentially, Theo Walcott, for a striking berth. Would the 19-year-old, even given his immense promise, which was demonstrated again yesterday, be able to feature prominently in such circumstances?

It is set to be a big season for Akpom on the international stage, too, with the youngster poised to move up to the England U21 squad having previously represented the Three Lions at various other age groups. This is another instance in which his and Iwobi’s career paths have differed slightly, with the latter having seemingly opted to represent Nigeria instead, which is perhaps an unsurprising choice given that he is the nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha.

Despite the differences in Akpom and Iwobi’s careers so far, they both remain Arsenal players and, however difficult the circumstances may be, they are both still hopeful of one day making the grade at the club.



  1. Chuba will get chances in the C1C and some sub appearances in the league (Welbeck is already injured along with Rosicky, Alexis will probably miss the start of the season), as well as hopefully the dead rubbers in the CL when we qualify in the first 4 games. Makes sense to re-evaluate in January rather than send him out now.

    Any news on the Under 18s? Our young Romanian Dragon scored the other day I believe.

    1. First game of preseason and you think we will keep him instead of a loan move. Just to refresh your memories from last season. Akpom did alright but was nothing amazing. He scored some goals vs a poor singapore side and you think he will be that good? The transfer window hasn´t even been close yet. At least wait until its closed.

      1. That’s not his word, that’s Arsene Wenger’s suggestion so please stop attacking him, feel free to disagree with one of the greatest football managers on earth but I suggest you go and apply to manage a great team like Arsenal let’s see how it goes. Chuba may not score hat-trick against the greatest team on earth but he played like a 27 years old striker, used his ball very well, drew the defenders away most of the time, eager to run behind the defense and please don’t tell me was not well marked because he was tightly marked in that match that I watched. If Wenger want him to stay in Arsenal first team for further development, who am I to argue, I am a football fan and Wenger is Wenger, in the world of football, who are you? One of the boo boys perhaps.

      2. This is preseason and wengers says a lot. Just because he says one thing doesn´t mean he will stay here and compete for a spot. Its what he can do not what wengers says what he can do. The fact that he was on loan last season and played a full season for u21 doesn´t mean shit to you.Why don´t you try to be realistic instead?

        I´m gonna refresh your memories again since wengers words are more important than actual performance. Randall was one of our highest rated player ever with wenger saying he can be in the first team.. what happened? He played shit.

        Last season it was Zelalem who had a good preseason then average U21 season. Was he with the first team in EPL, Cl, FA cup a lot? NO. Wenger said a lot of good things about him and I bet that you thought he would be with the first team and do some substitutions in EPL too.

        Sometimes I don´t understands peoples logic.Akpom has actually done NOTHING so far that indicates that he will stay with the first team. I can guarantee you there are at least 50 as good as akpom around the world right now who we can bring in for cheap or maybe nothing. Being with Arsenals U21 at 20 isn´t amazing at all.

      3. What an angry, ranting reply.
        1 – Zelalem didn’t go on loan. Zelalem was on the bench for PL games, and did play in the CL.
        Point missed.

        2- Yes, Wenger says a lot of things. But actions speak louder than words. Akpom is in Singapore with the first team and Sanogo is on loan at Ajax.
        There have been no links of a loan move for Akpom, and all signs suggest he will start the season with us. Things can change quickly, of course, a signing or 2 will affect his role. Interest from the right party may see the mood change. But as it stands, Akpom is part of the first team squad, and he is likely to be involved in matchday squads at the start of the season, the C1C team and possibly the CL.

        3 – There are probably 50 players we can get free? What sort of idiotic comment is this?

        4 – You don’t understand other peoples logic? Says everything about the angry person you are!!

      4. 1. I never said zelalem was on loan. My pint was wenger said a lot about him too but he was never really involved in the first team. He played for U21. If anything thats what akpom will do again. but all signs says he will be on loan. If you are that stupiud to think he will be on the bench regularly for the first team and get some sub when he barely played on loan.

        2. no links on loan? Are you fucking stupid or what? You mean every links should be public? That makes total sense right? I can gurantee you there are clubs that wants him on loan. To think NOTHING has happaned since last time is nothing but stupidity. We are being link with some of the best strikers in europe. that meaning akpom is not going to be involved with the first team right? i mean there you got some links. Links are so fucking important. I mean piblic links. yeah links. Do the fucking math. sanchez, giroud, walcott, welbeck and evern cazorla or rocicky has been played upfront. Iwobi, crawley, zelalem, willock and a few more are also in the first team at the moment. Do you know why? because its the fucking preseason you fucking idiot! EVERY SEASON there is kids involved in matches. How fucking stupid are you for saying akpom is in the first team and sanogo is in ajax,,, that means he will start in arsenals first team when the season start? Are you that fucking stupid really?

        3. yeah that is fact. We can get 50+ top quality players for the U21. Akpom isn´t that special just because he is at Arsenals U21. Lets see what he can do on loan.

        4. I understand your logic. And its pure dumb because you are thinking an U21 player that did NOTHING special for the record for U21 and on loan is suppose to stay at Arsenal and compete for a spot. that basically means he will be with the U21 another fucking useless season? that will do absolute NOTHING for his development. Thats is your logic. Mark my words.

        The transfer window isn´t close yet, in fact far from it. That means the amazing links you want will come and he will go on loan. Also I can tell you this… maitland niles will be far better upfront than Akpom.

      5. 1 – No different to what I said about Akpom, which got you all riled up. The chances of games before Christmas is much greater than after, meaning it makes sense for him to be around until January. As last season, when he got a fair number of appearances.

        2 – Who said anything about public links??
        Akpom, unlike the others you mention, has already got PL and cup games under his belt.
        And, again, where is talk of him starting? Your anger blinding you from reading what is actual written??

        3 – Why haven’t we got these players? Their existence is not really relevant to Arsenal unless we actually buy them. Another totally irrational point.

        4 – Isnt that the reason he is here? Because he is competing for a place. Otherwise we may as well have released him. Another incoherent rant.

        Maitland-Niles is on a seasons long loan at Ipswich, I cannot see the significance of him to this discussion. The fact he isn’t a striker only makes it even more confusing for him to be mentioned.

        Again, an angry rant from you that has no real value.

        Try chilling out.

      6. Im not gonna read your stupid reply. What i will say is you need to get a brain. Thinking a nobody and really a nobody who has done nothing in U21 and on loan is suppose to stay with the first team when he can play on loan and get experience. I am done with your stupid logic to keep a talent on the bench and in U21 as “backup”, when we got more then enough to cover the team. Just keep in mind podolski who is an international didn´t get chances often here in his last season. Now lets keep a teenager and give him the amazing bench experience too. makes total sense. Oh… its only more than 1 month left in the transfer window, so lets now have that in mind either lets just think he will stay here for the rest of the season on bench and U21 games. makes total sense.

      7. Won’t read my reply? Good, because it will only show you up even more, increasing your anger and probably causing massive headaches for your poor mum when she has to deal with the consequences.
        Oh, hang on. Is he a nobody or a talent? In your anger you seem to be contradicting yourself all over the place.

  2. Jeorge, Reiss Nelson has tweeted that he is heading to Getmany on Monday. I presume it is our under 18 going there. Do you know in which competition they will be participating in Germany?

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