Having already reported that Aston Villa appear to be front-runners for the 21-year-old’s signature on loan until the end of the campaign, it appears likely that the striker will depart north London for regular first-team minutes.
Akpom has always shown flashes of individual brilliance in the final third, that have justified Arsène Wenger’s faith in his potential to breakthrough and assert himself as a genuine first-team player.
A number of troublesome injuries have had an adverse effect on his development in recent seasons but with competition for places ever-increasing, it’s no surprise that he’s being linked with loan moves elsewhere across England in an attempt to build up his morale and goalscoring form ahead of what could be an important few months for his progression at Arsenal.
Steve Bruce’s previous experiences with Akpom at Hull City last season make the news of a potential loan all the more believable and given the deals that have gone back-and-forth between Bruce and Wenger over the past decade (Nicklas Bendtner, Sebastian Larsson and Fabrice Muamba just to name a few), Villa’s efforts to make a return to the Premier League could be boosted by another attacker to loosen up the workload on Jonathan Kodja, a £11m signing last summer.
Rumours reporting his possible arrival have been met by genuine enthusiasm for the most part from Villa supporters and if a deal does go through before the end of deadline day in midweek, it’s sure to help him settle at a much quicker rate than he did at Hull – a goal on his debut against Huddersfield was his only strike for two months, where he was occasionally shoehorned onto the wing and struggled to convert.
Players like Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish could definitely prove beneficial for Akpom in the final third, as they’ve created 42 chances between them already this term.
Stats’ source: Squawka, Birmingham Mail