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Akpom - Playing here a striker's dream

Chuba Akpom says playing alongside Arsenal’s abundance of creative players is a “striker’s dream”.

The 19-year-old made his first-team debut last season and has been a regular on the bench in the second half of this campaign.

Akpom is yet to open his account for Arsene Wenger’s side but feels his first goal cannot be that far away with the quality of the players around him.

"They care about you on the pitch - they want you to get goals, they’re looking for you"

Chuba Akpom

“It’s amazing,” he told Arsenal Player. “It’s a striker’s dream to play with Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and those world-class players in the squad. They care about you on the pitch - they want you to get goals, they’re looking for you.

“They’re not selfish players. They’re good lads as well, genuinely nice people and you can only improve training and playing with those types of players.

“They were [trying to set me up against Aston Villa]. I appreciate that and I’ve just got to make the right forward runs to score and create opportunities for the team. I’m just getting used to it really and I’m just hoping for more minutes and learning every game.

“It’s really hard physically, mentally, everything. To make the step from the reserves to the first team is really hard as well, so it’s going to take a while to get used to but I’m really enjoying it and most importantly I think I’m capable of it.”

Luckily for Akpom, he was able to make the big step with under-21s team-mate and good friend Hector Bellerin.

“It feels surreal,” the forward added. “When I’m on the pitch with Hector I think back to the NextGen days when I was 16 or 17 and Hector used to be assisting me. It feels like we’ve both made a big step together and we’ve learnt from each other. That’s what you want to happen and it’s really nice.”

Chuba Akpom and Hector Bellerin

Chuba Akpom and Hector Bellerin

 

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