Chuba Akpom linked with Leeds United and Celtic - what would he bring?
Leeds United and Celtic are going head to head in a battle to sign Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom. The Mirror report that both clubs are keen to secure the 21-year-old on a permanent deal before the deadline. After a number of loan spells, the England Under-21 international is ready to leave the Emirates Stadium in search of first-team football.
Akpom has long been tipped for big things and he has shown flashes of his quality during a number of different loan spells. He has spent time at Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Brighton, but he hasn’t done enough to break into Arsene Wenger’s plans. Arsenal need to have a clear-out before the window closes, which means that the striker will be available for the right price.
Would he be a good signing for either club?
His achievements in senior football don’t make for good reading, as he has struggled at nearly every club he has been loaned to. It was at Hull City that he had his most successful spell, as he featured in 36 matches during their promotion campaign of 2015/16. However, he scored only three goals and contributed one assist. Last season, Brighton was seen as a good move for him, as they were competing for the title, but he was used sparingly and totalled only 178 minutes across ten matches.
There is clearly talent, as he has impressed during youth football, but he has yet to show it at senior level. A permanent move away from Arsenal could help him do that, as he would finally be allowed to settle in one place.
The 21-year-old has pace and is capable of running in behind defences. His movement and finishing need work, but there is enough about him to suggest he could become a good striker if given the right coaching. The 21-year-old can beat opposition defenders on the dribble, which makes him a very good player to have on the counter-attack. He has the tools to become a decent Premier League player and could prove to be a bargain, but he needs to be developed correctly.
How likely is a move?
Arsenal are looking to sell players, which means that a transfer away from the club is possible for Akpom. At the age of 21, he is unlikely to break into the first team at the Emirates Stadium and needs to leave now in order to gain the regular football that he needs. It would be appealing to move to Celtic, as Scottish football has become a good place for players to gain the confidence they need to take the next step. However, he would be the third choice behind Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths.
Leeds could be a better move for him and they will be in the market for at least one new striker after the sale of Chris Wood. The route to the first team looks to be an easier one and he would be playing at a level that he has experienced before. That said, it would be underwhelming for the Yorkshire club to replace their top scorer with a player that hasn’t achieved much success during his short career. If he went to Elland Road, he might be one of two centre forwards arriving.
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