There was perhaps only one person in the world more excited than Chuba Akpom when he opened his account for the first team - his mum.
The 17-year-old caused a stir with a series of fine goalscoring performances for the under-21s and NextGen Series team last season and received his reward with a call-up for the Asia Tour.
"The first thing I did though was check my mum's message. I always do that after games - she gets very excited whenever I score goals!"
Akpom wasted little time in making an impression, scoring 54 minutes into his debut against the Indonesia Dream Team in front of more than 60,000 fans in Jakarta.
“It was a dream come true,” he told Arsenal Player. “When I saw the ball go in it was the best feeling. There was so much noise in the stadium, so many people - it was amazing.
“After the game I checked my phone and my Twitter feed - there were so many messages and people saying well done. The first thing I did though was check my mum's message. I always do that after games - she gets very excited whenever I score goals!
“I only found out the day before we left that I was going on tour. They didn't tell me, they phoned my mum - that's how I found out. When I got home she was really excited and told me the news.
“It was a bit of a surprise, but who wouldn't be buzzing to go on tour with the Arsenal first team? I watched a few videos of last year's tour, so I was really excited. It was great, I've never experienced anything like it before.
“When you go out there you realise how big a club Arsenal is. It's a great experience for a young player like me. The other players really help you - Lukas, Per, all of them, they are great guys. So that made it easier.”
Things got even better for Akpom in his next game when he scored a brace against Vietnam, before ending the tour with a flourish with a late winner against Urawa Reds in the Saitama City Cup. It was the perfect climax to a defining few weeks for the young striker.
“There was a small doubt as to whether I would play in the Vietnam game beforehand, because I was a bit ill,” he said. “But I played 45 minutes, and scored a couple of goals.
“It was another great atmosphere, and they were a decent team, they passed it well. For my first goal Aaron Ramsey did well, he found me and I cut it back, saw the keeper had come out a bit, so I just tried to do a Thierry Henry finish and curl it in the far post.
“For the second one Gedion played an amazing pass to Chambo, and Chambo was really unselfish and squared it to me. So I was pleased to score those but sad I didn't get the hat-trick because I had a couple of chances afterwards.
“I knew the tour was an opportunity for me to showcase what I can do, show the boss what I can do. It's the most fans I've ever played in front of, but what an experience!”
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