Chuba Akpom would have given Arsene Wenger plenty of food for thought after bagging an impressive hat-trick for Arsenal Under 21s in a 4-0 victory over Brighton on Monday.
The 19-year-old is drawing plenty of plaudits for his form this season but has yet to see it reap rewards in the form of first team football. Akpom has made just one appearance this season as Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo continue to take the lion's share.
His first came after Glen Kamara had already given Arsenal what would turn out to be an unassailable lead. A corner routine straight off the training ground gave Akpom a tap in to make it 2-0.
The second goal from this Arsenal academy graduate was far more impressive. He lobbed England Under 20 team-mate Christian Walton in the Brighton goal just before the break.
Having wasted several good chances to complete his hat-trick, it seemed as though the match ball would evade him this time. However, when Arsenal were awarded a penalty only one man was going to take it and Akpom converted confidently.
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Akpom's performance would have reverberated around north London and not just on the red side. Tottenham are reportedly interested in the striker after talks over a new contract with the Gunners hit the rocks.
Wenger is keen to tie Akpom down to a new contract, but as he remains so far down the pecking order Akpom is considering his options. Tottenham would be a convenient but controversial move for the young striker.
Manchester City and Everton are also monitoring the situation. With Akpom's contract set to expire in the summer, he could leave for next to nothing, with Arsenal only due a nominal development fee.
But like Welbeck at Manchester United, first team opportunities may never come around for Akpom regardless of how well he performs for the Under-21s. However, performances like the one in the Amex Arena will do his chances no harm.
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