Chuba Akpom scored his first goal in a competitive fixture for PAOK last weekend, and he’s since spoken to the media about finally getting off the mark for his new club.
After 16 years in the Arsenal academy and first team setup, Akpom finally made the decision to move on this summer, joining Greek side PAOK on a three-year deal. It was the right decision to move on, considering his chances looked very limited with the Gunners and loan spells weren’t doing him much good.
However, things didn’t exactly go as planned for the first few months. Even now, Akpom is yet to start a single competitive fixture for PAOK, despite reaching eight appearances from the bench. In the most recent of those substitute showings, he netted his first goal, and he seemed delighted to have got off the mark.
“I was happy with [Sunday’s] goal because the previous one was cancelled for offside, and of course because we won and we are top of the league” he said (via Gazzetta). “I didn’t feel so good in the past, because I didn’t have the playing time I wanted, but now I’m starting to get into the team.
“I have a very good partnership with Priyovic. The coach told me to play around Priyovic, he is a very good player.
“I was disappointed when I wasn’t playing and I was trying my best. The coach said that he likes me as a player and I have to keep improving, and I said I would try as much as possible.”
Often it takes a goal to really get going with a new club, especially when it’s a winning goal like Akpom’s at the weekend. The fans will start to take to you a bit more, the media will start writing about how the team miss your goals when you aren’t around, and you have tangible evidence of your impact on the pitch to point to.
Hopefully, that’s the case for Akpom, as it would be great to see him at least playing more regularly. Now 23 years old, the striker has the chance to push on and make a career for himself in the next few years. It’s up to him to keep going now.