Chuba Akpom was a wanted man recently.
With his contract running out, a number of top clubs around Europe vying for his signature as the expiry date closed in, the forward who has been at Arsenal since he was just six years old committed his future to the club.
It’s not hard to see why he was so much in demand – young, fast, lethal and strong – it didn’t take long for Alexis Sanchez to identify the 19-year-old’s talent and give him a nickname that should never be applied on a whim – Titi.
It was a story we reported some time ago, but now the youngster has elaborated.
Akpom told the Daily Mail
‘One day in training with the first team I scored an Henry-type goal, cutting inside and finishing,’ Akpom tells Sportsmail.
‘I could see Sanchez jumping, he’ s an enthusiastic guy at the best of times and he’s going: “Titi, Titi, Titi, Titi!” ‘The next morning he came to me and said “Titi.”
‘Then the next morning he came to me and said “Titi.” I asked: ‘hold on is this my new nickname?’ That’s how it came about and it’s stuck since then.
‘Now the lads just call me Titi or Thierry Henry – I’ll take that. It’s not a bad comparison to have.
‘He was my idol growing up. Playing for the academy and watching Arsenal’s first team I used to see players like Henry scoring every week and it really inspired me.’
Akpom certainly faces a tough path into the first team with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Alexis himself all in front of him in the pecking order, but one thing is certain – he definitely has the will to will to succeed.