Football

Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom is hoping for a breakthrough season

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Chuba Akpom is hoping this season can be the year he breaks in to the Arsenal first-team. 

The 19-year-old, who signed a new four-and-a-half year deal with the club in February has been heavily involved this pre-season.

Following three loan spells in the last couple of seasons, Akpom is hoping to be involved with the Gunners first-team for the upcoming campaign and believes he can fire the Gunners to glory if given the chance.

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Akpom scored a hat-trick against a Singapore Select XI earlier in pre-season and was involved over the weekend as Arsenal thrashed Lyon and beat Wolfsburg 1-0 to win the Emirates Cup.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the young striker said Wenger's words were all the fuel the young Arsenal stars, including himself, needed.

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He said: "It's nice to see the young players doing well and the boss says he will always give opportunities to young players who are doing their job. The main thing for me is for a manger to have confidence and faith in me so for the manager to say that he isn't after another striker is good.

"But the hard work doesn't stop there it means you have to maintain a place and there are a lot of good strikers and goals in the team so hopefully his season I can give it my all and be involved in the team.

"The boss really likes playing young players when he can and that motivates the young players because it shows them that they have a chance."

Akpom is yet to score a professional goal in his short career, having failed to find the net on any of his loan spells at Brentford, Coventry City or Nottingham Forest.

He has also failed to hit the target in his nine appearances for Arsenal, however at such a young age he has been tipped to be a future Gunners star. He has scored goals at youth level for England and the Gunners though.

Akpom, himself has admitted he would prefer to stay at the Emirates and fight for his place, instead of being sent out on loan for the chance of more regular first team football and despite the competition for places, he believes he has what it takes. 

""I'd prefer to stay here and fight for a place and give it my all and compete with the other strikers," he added. "There is a lot of talent in the team but I think I am capable of competing and getting a place in the team, it's all down to hard work."

Arsenal have been heavily linked with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Juventus' Fernando Llorente to help bolster their attacking options for the upcoming season. Any move for a new striker would surely see Akpom sent out on loan for a fourth time.

However, if he was to stick around, the England youth international has the confidence and self-belief to make an impact in the Premier League when given the opportunity. 

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Topics:
Arsenal
Premier League
Football

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