Arsenal Youngster Chuba Apkom Is One to Watch for This Season
For someone just 16 years of age, Chuba Apkom already possesses a keen awareness for the game of football.
"It's just about being penetrative behind the back four, which is all about good movement," the striker told Arsenal's official website after playing in the reserves' 0-0 draw to Stevenage on July 28.
The physical gulf between a League One side filled with players far older than he was always going to provide a stern test, but reports indicated that the England youth international more than held his own while leading the line for the Gunners.
At this juncture, playing above his age range is second-nature to Apkom, who made 15 appearances for the Arsenal U-18s last season after cracking the prestigious Arsenal academy a year early.
Though he had yet to score during preseason for the Gunners, Apkom had already impressed with his substitute's spell against Boreham Wood, a match that Arsenal had come back to win 3-1 thanks in large part to Apkom's penalty, which had broken a 1-1 deadlock.
Saturday marked yet another landmark for the youngster. Coming in in the 61st minute against Chesham, in a match that Arsenal was already winning 4-1, Apkom wasted little time getting himself into the game.
"(Apkom) was a threat from the moment he came on, and his mesmerising run almost created a fifth (goal)," Joe Brewin, Arsenal's on-site reporter, glossed.
ArsenalLive, tweeting updates of the encounter, said that Apkom "beat at least three men" with that bit of industry in the 70th minute, before capping off the move with a shot that was deflected wide for a corner.
Apkom would make sure he got his goal just seconds later. Gathering possession from the corner, he hit a hard drive toward goal that deflected off teammate Kyle Bartley and into the back of the net.
His summer showing now drawn to a close, Apkom will turn his attention toward the upcoming campaign.
The reserves now enjoy a 16-day respite before heading back into action against Bolton on Aug. 20. Given Apkom's terrific showing on Saturday, it stands to reason that, even with the glut of young talent vying for a spot, he stands a good chance at cracking the lineup.
He certainly doesn't lack ambition, listing the Capital One Cup (formerly known as the Carling Cup) as a competition he hopes to appear in this season.
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