It has cetainly been a pre-season to remember so far for Arsenal starlet, Chuba Akpom. The 20-year-old featured in both of Arsenal’s games on their USA tour, scoring in both games.
Akpom went on loan to Hull City last season, scoring three goals in 35 appearances in the Championship. While the ratio isn’t exactly flattering, the young Englishman looks determined to make a breakthrough with Arsenal this season, as his sharp performances in America have been gratefully received by the club.
Impressive time in America for Akpom
Akpom recently spoke to Arsenal’s official website about his time so far in pre-season, following Arsenal’s return to London after their week in the States. “I have enjoyed every second of the tour, on the pitch and off the pitch. The main thing is gaining fitness and winning the games obviously. I’m buzzing we got two wins in America.”
Arsenal recorded two victories to the delight of their American fans, a 2-1 win over the MLS All-Stars, and a 3-1 win against Chivas. Chuba scored a late winner in the opening game of the tour against the All-Stars, a composed close range finish after some encouraging build up play.
Akpom also registered a goal against Chivas, another composed finish after some exceptional team work to build the attack. Despite Arsenal’s 3-1 win, Akpom admitted that the game was tough.
“Technically and physically they were really good. You can’t come to these places and underestimate these teams. The football is really good; it was a tough test,” said Akpom.
It has been a long process for football to take off in America, but the development is certainly encouraging, as Arsenal were tested by both sides on a few occasions during the tour.
A strong dressing room ahead of the new season
Speaking after the game against Chivas, Akpom revealed that the team chemistry is high, on and off the pitch ahead of the upcoming Premier League season. “I think the lads are clicking on the pitch and off the pitch. I’m buzzing for Rob and Chambo, they scored good goals. There were a lot of positives from this game.”
Arsenal’s new signing Rob Holding scored on his second appearance for the Gunners, opening the scoring against Chivas.
Arsenal’s first challenge comes early in the season, as they open their campaign at home to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, a side who have also endured an encouraging pre-season. It is suspected that Akpom could make an appearance in the opening game, as Arsenal’s current first choice striker, Olivier Giroud, is away on holiday after representing France at the European Championship.