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February 19, 2019

Will Akpom fulfill his Gunners potential? I do hope so

Chuba Akpom! That is his name. No he is not the world class striker I was hoping that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signs, but if he remains on the right path, he is the future of the Gunners.

Two superb goals against Singapore X1 midweek and a coolly taken penalty ensured the 19 year got a hat trick for the Gunners in that 4-0 win.

But while Akpom has shown that he has great talent, I urge my fellow Gunners not to expect too much from him just yet. I have already seen comments on social media insisting that Arsenal no longer needs a world class striker but we were playing a friendly against Singapore guys! If he repeats the same against Everton and continues this form against big European teams then I will begin to think differently.

For now I will congratulate his performance because it was impressive, but he does need a lot more experience in my view to compete with the best.

I have seen too many young strikers do well in one or two games; often friendlies, but then fail to replicate that performance when it matters most; and when the pressure of real competition is on.

I’ll give the kid the benefit of a doubt for now. I also hope that Wenger gives him a chance in a big game to gauge his ability at the top level. Too often I’ve seen Wenger tread on the spirits of the youth by benching them all the time; forcing them to either leave or to dip in form - Joel Campbell and Carlos Vela come to mind.

The good news is that we still have six weeks of various levels of competition before the transfer market closes, so Wenger has time to watch this kid more and still get a top notch target man should the need arise.

But overall I like the way the Arsenal squad is looking. It’s clean, it’s sharp and it’s focused. And as usual, I am hopefully that we will win key silverware next season.

Raheem Sterling has just had his salary increased by 400 percent! Does that even make sense? I don’t blame him for wanting to leave for the huge pot of cash, but for his sake, I hope he is in Manuel Pellegrini’s first eleven as he does need to continue to prove himself as he begins to age.

Big teams are known to swallow up youngsters who find their careers ending at a very young age – just ask Michael Owen what happened when he left Liverpool for Real Madrid. Of course injury played a part in Owens departure into obscurity, but injury is a very real threat for all players.

Now to add one comment about Manchester United before I sign off. Despite the fact rival fans are making fun of the fact LVG appears to be a little erratic in his signings, I must admit I’m a little afraid.

So they let Radamel Falcao leave and lately RVP; but the entries of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin should not be taken lightly. Along with Memphis Depay who was signed early, the Red Devils have an admirable side. Add the guys with talent United already have and things start looking good for them.

LVG however will still have the challenge he had last season; of making a group of excellent players, work well together – gel. But I will not by any means dismiss the potential of the United squad that has been assembled so far.

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