Chuba Akpom went back to visit the team where he started his footballing career, Rippleway FC, to speak to the young players at the club.
Chuba is still a young player himself, having just turned 22 years old, although it feels like he’s been at the club forever, as he joined Arsenal back in 2002 when he was just six years old.
However, before he joined the Gunners, he was with Rippleway FC. In fact, he wasn’t the only one, as he explained to the Arsenal YouTube channel: “Who else started at this club? Me and Alex (Iwobi). We both started playing for Rippleway and that’s where we first met actually. Alex is the most humble person you could ever meet. He’s definitely like a brother.”
Akpom watched the young players take part in a few different exercises, getting involved a bit himself, and then gave them a talk as a bit of motivation, telling them: “It feels like it was just yesterday, you know, playing for Rippleway. There could be someone here that could be signing professional (terms) in a few years. You never know. Just keep your head down and stay focused, never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”
Chuba’s advice to stay focused and motivated regardless of what other people are saying probably gives us some insight into his situation at the moment. The academy product is reaching an age where he needs to be playing in the first-team somewhere, but recently his chances with the Gunners have been few and far between.
Aside from one League Cup appearance in 2016/17, Akpom hasn’t played for the Arsenal first-team since 2015, and is yet to score a senior goal for the Gunners. He did score goals in one of his loan spells, to Hull City, but even then it was just seven goals in 42 appearances.
However, the forward remains committed to improving and waiting for his chance with Arsenal. His goal-scoring record for the youth teams was always excellent, so if he ever figures out how to start replicating those goals in the senior game, he could be a good striker.
You can watch the highlights from Chuba’s visit to Rippleway FC below: