Chuba Akpom is certainly not short of confidence.

Speaking to Arsenal player, the youngster, who signed a new four-year deal recently after being linked with a summer move away, he has revealed what makes him so tough and his mentality is one that is refreshing to see.

Not content, like many others who have been on the fringes of the first team, with thinking he’s made it as soon as he landed that big deal or first game in the senior side, Akpom is very clear on what he needs to do to succeed.

He said

“Where I’m from, it’s a tough upbringing so everyone from my area has a strong mentality.

“When we used to play football you wanted to win otherwise there would be a scrap, there would be something going on, so I’ve a strong mentality.

“I’m super, super competitive and it’s good to have a winning mentality. Anything you want to do, if you put your mind to it and work hard, you can do it.

“You’ve got to have that belief in yourself. I love the saying ‘you are what you believe’.

“If you believe you’re a champion, you’re going to train like a champion. You’re going to run like a champion and do everything like a champion. It’s like an extra boost.”

What was clear on Wednesday night against Monaco was how this side is prone to mental weakness when things start to go wrong.

Lacking natural leaders (those who could perhaps be called upon all out injured), Akpom could find himself vital for more than just his ability to score goals if he maintains this attitude.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.