Teammates through the Arsenal youth system, Chuba Akpom is hoping to join Alex Iwobi in the first team squad next season.
The progression of the youngsters has seemed to go separate ways lately as Akpom has struggled for solid form with Hull City and Iwobi has started establishing himself in north London.
A goal in a full Premier League debut last weekend was followed up by a competitive debut for Nigeria on Friday evening, Iwobi is starting to shine and Akpom is delighted for him.
“Alex I grew up with,” Akpom told BT Sport. The striker is currently on international duty himself and hopes to play for England u21s when they take on Switzerland on Saturday afternoon.
“[Iwobi is] like a brother to me so I’m buzzing for him, I’m buzzing for his progress and I just tell him hopefully next season it’s me and him playing together. This summer I’m just gonna work as hard as I can and in pre-season do the best that I can.”
This pre-season could be a big one for Akpom, who will have a chance to impress Arsène Wenger while Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck recover from representing their countries at Euro 2016. That means Akpom could have a couple of games up front for the Gunners, so there’s a chance to convince the boss he’s ready to play for the first team.
If any inspiration is needed, Akpom need look no further than Iwobi. Hard work pays off.
— AFCPressWatch™ (@AFCPressWatch) March 26, 2016