Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom has confirmed that he has signed a contract extension with the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger revealed in his pre-match press conference this morning that the 19-year-old, who had been linked with a move to Liverpool in recent weeks, has put pen-to-paper on a new four-and-a-half-year contract along with French midfielder Francis Coquelin.
And Akpom posted a message on Twitter this afternoon to reveal that he is excited about the future after signing the new deal.
“Delighted to have signed a new deal with @Arsenal,” Akpom wrote. “Lots of hard work to come but very excited about the future #AFC”.
The England Under-20 international has made seven first-team appearances for the Gunners since making his debut in September 2013.
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Akpom is still looking for his first senior goal after failing to hit the net during loan spells with Bradford City and Coventry City, but has shown his goalscoring prowess for England’s youth teams between Under-16 and Under-20 level.
The youngster revealed that star Arsenal teammate Alexis Sanchez has even nicknamed him “Titi” in reference to club legend Thierry Henry thanks to his similar playing style on the training pitch.
Loan move likely
With competition for forward places fierce at Arsenal, it’s possible that Akpom will leave the Emirates Stadium on another loan deal before the season finishes.
Interest in the young English striker will be high after Wenger decided this is a player capable of becoming a first-team regular with the Gunners.
However, in order for that dream to become a reality, Akpom will need to head out on loan and gain some valuable first-team experience. He must also start scoring goals on a regular basis to give Wenger something to think about when he reports back for pre-season training this summer.
Could Arsenal still sell Akpom?
Of course, Arsenal handing Akpom a new contract may have been designed to prevent the club from losing the talented forward on a free transfer at the end of the season.
His previous deal was set to expire at the end of the campaign - which would have left him free to join Liverpool or Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Both clubs were reportedly keen to sign Akpom. But for now his future is at the Emirates Stadium.