According to reports, Fulham are eyeing a move for Arsenal’s young forward Chuba Akpom this winter. The Cottagers have had a season full of ups and downs so far and they are somehow in touching distance of a place in the playoffs.
In the 25 games that they have played this Championship season, they have managed to win 9, lost 6 and have drawn 10 times. Their inconsistency has been a major source of concern for manager Slavisa Jokanovic. Fulham’s misfiring strikers have been a big disappointment for Jokanovic. Hence, a move of Akpom seems like a wise one.
Akpom has been highly rated by the North London club and has developed well through the youth system of Arsenal. However, with a number of top quality strikers present at the club currently, his immediate chances in the frontline seems poor.
The striker, who joined Arsenal when he was six years old, made his Premier League debut only in 2013 in a 3-1 victory over Sunderland. He had come on as a late substitute for Olivier Giroud, who is currently in hot form and is also in talks with the club to extend his contract.
Akpom’s gameplay has progressed more than his age and a lack of place in the team forced him to go on loan spells to sides in the Football League. He was regular in the Hull City side of 2015-16, making 35 Championship appearances, helping them to gain promotion, but he could bag only three goals.
Akpom has sufficient Championship experience to get into the first team directly and Jokanovic will be more than happy to try him up as the sole striker. Although Derby loanee Chris Martin has impressed at Fulham so far, the others like Matt Smith and Cauley Woodrow haven’t been such a success.
Fulham will have to be more consistent in the second half of the season and a big way to do that would be to score more goals. The Cottagers have scored 41 goals 24 matches so far and they would need more of same. Akpom could definitely be a difference in their erratic season, but Arsenal are highly unlikely to part ways with the striker.
Wenger, however, might be tempted to loan him again with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Olivier Giroud fighting for the spot in the squad. It won’t be easy to land him for Fulham as Cardiff City and Brentford are also in the line of suitors for the ENgkand-21 international.
Akpom also has playoff experience on his side. In his stint with Hull City, he featured in the play-off semi-final win against Derby County and was part of the match day squad in Wembley’s play-off final.