Newham’s Akpom ‘will get chance’ at Arsenal
PUBLISHED: 14:42 16 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:42 16 July 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
St Bons old boy shines in Singapore
Arsène Wenger is backing former St Bonaventure’s pupil Chuba Akpom to shine, after his excellent performance in Singapore this week.
Akpom netted a hat trick against a Singapore Select XI in Arsenal’s 4-0 friendly win and the 19 year old has impressed Wenger so much that he will not be going back out on loan this season.
Last season Akpom was loaned out to Nottingham Forest and made seven appearances.
Wenger told the club’s official website: “I sent him out on loan last year because I thought he needed it, during this season I plan to keep him with us.
“However let’s not forget it’s a friendly. He’s a good talent, but he has to work hard and to show us he can do that in the big games.
“The game against Singapore has encouraged him, he is a young player and that game has hopefully lifted his confidence.
“The confidence in the dressing room that you sense from the other players is important as well and that can help him to improve and do well in the important big games.”
The Gunners boss revealed Akpom will continue to get a chance to play, adding: “Akpom will get a chance. It’s down to performance and attitude.”
Hopefully the Newham youngster will be able to prove himself under the Frenchman’s leadership and get himself in the starting line-up on a consistent basis.
Wenger was certainly pleased with the performance of his side in Asia, adding: “Overall it was a positive game because we had a good resistance in the first game. “We were tested against a very resilient, very dynamic, very mobile and a team with a good collective attitude. We were tested and we had to play with pace.
“I liked the fact that we kept a good team focus and as well that individually, every player had to dig deep. We suffered a little bit to get a good workout.”
The Singapore Select XI played very well in the first half, only conceding one goal against the North London giants as Akpom opened his account.
Wenger added: “I was surprised. They were electric in the first half - I don’t know what they had for lunch! They were absolutely electric and they played at a very high pace.
“Technically they were very good. They couldn’t create much, but it was difficult to get the ball off them.”
The underdogs lost a bit of focus in the second half, allowing Jack Wilshere to add a second goal from the penalty spot, before Akpom struck twice more to complete his memorable treble.
And the Gunners will now hope to keep up their good streak and win the Barclays Asia Trophy, as they face Everton in the final.
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