Arsenal are looking to send Chuba Akpom out on loan in January which is great news as it means his back problems are almost sorted.

The young forward has been out since 30 September with a stress fracture in his back and with Arsenal not saying anything at all about the injury (they don’t even have him listed as injured on Arsenal.com), it wasn’t clear how serious it was.

According to a report which appeared in the Mirror, Arsenal are now prepared to let Akpom leave and there are already a number of Championship clubs, including Cardiff and Fulham, who are interested in his services.

The move would make sense.

Arsenal have Alexis, Giroud, and Lucas all vying for a role up top. We also have Theo Walcott who can (sort of) play through the middle so it’s impossible to see where Akpom would get any sort of meaningful game time unless our entire frontline falls apart.

Akpom has already spent time on loan with Brentford, another of the clubs that are said to be interested in him. He spent a month of the 13/14 season there. That same season, he also went to Coventry from February until the end of the campaign. The following season he was shipped off to Nottingham Forest and then Hull City.

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His Coventry loan contained a clause which allowed him to return to play for the Arsenal reserves in the UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup, and a similar arrangement could be sought here.  Arsenal are currently third in their UEFA Youth League group, three points behind Basel with the same Goal Difference, but fewer goals scored. The two teams meet in the final game.

Arsenal lost the first game 2-1 at home so will need to better that result to avoid going out on the head-to-head rule. Due to the way the groups are decided, Arsenal need a two-goal winning margin above 2-1 to progress.

Teams who are separated using the following system:

  1. Points (will be level if Arsenal win)
  2. Points in head-to-head matches (will be level if Arsenal win)
  3. Goal difference in head-to-head matches (will be level if Arsenal win 2-1)
  4. Goals scored in head-to-head matches (will be level if Arsenal win 2-1)
  5. Away goals in head-to-head matches (will be level if Arsenal win 2-1)
  6. Total goal difference (currently level on +2)
  7. Total goals scored (currently Arsenal 7, Basel 10)
  8. Better UEFA team ranking (how stupid is this?)

The FA Youth Cup is already underway with teams competing in the third round proper. Arsenal are due to play Blackburn Rovers on 16th December.