Chuba Akpom From Promising Prospect to Eredivisie Sharpshooter

Chuba Akpom, the English striker currently lighting up the Eredivisie with Ajax, has had a career trajectory marked by both early promise and periods of challenge. This article delves into Akpom’s career statistics, analyzes his strengths and weaknesses, explores his journey across various clubs, and discusses his current resurgence with Ajax.

Early Career and Loan Spells (A Trailblazer Through the English Leagues)

Arsenal Academy Graduate (2002-2018):

Akpom began his journey at Arsenal’s renowned academy, showcasing his prolific goalscoring from a young age. He progressed through the youth ranks, impressing with his pace, power, and finishing ability.

Loan Spells and Missed Opportunities (2012-2018):

Akpom embarked on a series of loan spells at various English clubs, including Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Sint-Truiden (Belgium). These stents yielded mixed results. While he displayed glimpses of his potential, inconsistency and struggles with adaptation hampered his progress.

Finding His Feet at Middlesbrough (2020-2023):

A Fresh Start and EFL Championship Success (2020-2023):

After leaving Arsenal in 2018, Akpom joined Middlesbrough in the English Championship. Under manager Neil Warnock, he rediscovered his goal scoring touch, forming a potent partnership with Britt Assombalonga. He continued to excel under Warnock’s successor, Michael Carrick, showcasing improved decision-making and a more clinical finishing style.

Akpom’s Accolades at Middlesbrough:

EFL Championship Top Scorer (2022-23 season)

Middlesbrough Player of the Year (2022-23 season)

Middlesbrough Players’ Player of the Year (2022-23 season)

A Move to Ajax and Eredivisie Stardom (2023-Present):

A New Challenge in the Netherlands:

In January 2023, Akpom made a surprising move to Dutch giants Ajax. Many questioned his suitability for a team known for its possession-based style, but he has silenced his critics with his performances. Akpom has seamlessly integrated into the system, utilizing his pace and finishing ability to great effect.

Strengths and Weaknesses:


Pace and power

Clinical finishing

Improved decision-making in the final third

Ability to adapt to different playing styles


Can sometimes be isolated when playing against teams with a deep defensive block

First touch can be inconsistent

Can Akpom Maintain His Goal Scoring Form?:

Akpom’s hot streak in front of goal is a significant factor in his current form. Maintaining this consistency over a full season and across different competitions will be crucial for him to solidify his place at Ajax and potentially attract interest from even bigger clubs.

Adapting to European Competition:

While Akpom has impressed in the Eredivisie, the step up to the Champions League presents a new challenge. The higher intensity, faster pace, and stronger defensive lines at this level will require him to further refine his skills and decision-making.

International Aspirations:

Akpom, eligible to play for both England and Nigeria, has yet to represent either nation at the senior level. His impressive form at Ajax could put him back on the radar of international selectors. However, with established names like Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham in contention for England, and fierce competition within the Nigerian national team, earning a call-up will be a challenge.

The Premier League Gamble:

A return to the Premier League, the pinnacle of English football, might be a dream for Akpom. His success in the Eredivisie could spark interest from Premier League clubs. However, the question remains: can he replicate his current form in a more physically demanding and tactically intricate league?

Pressure and Expectations:

Akpom has thrived under the radar at Middlesbrough and thrived initially at Ajax. However, with his growing reputation, he will face increased pressure and expectations. How he handles this pressure and deals with potential setbacks will be a test of his mental fortitude.

The Role of Ajax: Development and Opportunity

Playing Style and Development:

Ajax’s possession-based style, with its emphasis on quick passing and movement, might suit Akpom’s skill set in the long run. Playing alongside talented players like Steven Bergwijn and Dusan Tadic could further enhance his development and tactical awareness.

Competition for Places:

Ajax boasts a strong attacking line-up with Brian Brobbey and Mohammed Kudus vying for playing time. Akpom will need to maintain his form and impress manager Alfred Schreuder to secure a regular starting spot.

Potential Stepping Stone:

A successful stint at Ajax could act as a springboard for Akpom. If he continues to perform well, he could attract interest from even bigger European clubs seeking a prolific striker.


Where did Chuba Akpom start his professional career? 

Akpom began his professional career at Arsenal, joining their youth academy in 2002 at the tender age of six.

Did he achieve anything significant at Arsenal? 

While he never quite broke into the first team at Arsenal, Akpom was a highly-rated prospect in their youth system.

How many clubs has Chuba Akpom played for on loan? 

Akpom has been on loan spells at several clubs during his career, including Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Sint-Truiden, PAOK (twice), and Middlesbrough.

Which loan move proved to be a turning point?

His time at Middlesbrough in the 2020/21 season was a turning point. Akpom thrived in the Championship, scoring regularly and earning a permanent transfer to the club

When did Chuba Akpom sign for Ajax? 

Akpom signed for Dutch giants Ajax on a five-year contract in August 2023.

How is he performing at Ajax? 

Akpom has impressed in his limited playing time at Ajax. He scored his first goal for the club in November 2023 and is seen as a valuable squad player for their attack.

What are Chuba Akpom’s strengths and weaknesses?


Pace and Power: Akpom is a strong and pacey forward who can get behind defenses.
Finishing Ability: He has a good eye for goal and can finish chances clinically.
Aerial Threat: Akpom’s height makes him a threat in the air, both for set pieces and crosses.

Inconsistent Playing Time: Throughout his career, Akpom has struggled to secure a regular starting spot.

Touch and Passing: His close control and passing can be inconsistent at times.

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