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Chuba Akpom is keen to show the fans in Belgium what he can do, and says he knows he has to pick up the pace to succeed.
Akpom moved on loan to Sint-Truiden in January. He made his debut for the Belgian club against KV Kortrijk, coming off the bench for 15 minutes. Then he hit the post in his first start against Gent this weekend.
The 22-year-old spoke to Het Belang Van Limburg after the game about his progress so far.
“It was my first full match in four months,” he admitted (via SportWitness). “I still have to pick up the pace, but I’ve already shown everyone a glimpse of what I’ve got. I hope I can show the fans even more of my qualities in the following matches. Surprisingly, I still had energy when I was subbed off.
“Nobody can underestimate Belgian football. Everyone in England knows the world-class footballers that come from here. I am eager to prove myself in this new competition.”
It’s true that even Akpom’s u23 chances had dried up by the time he went out on loan. He didn’t play in any of the academy side’s matches in January. The last time he started a match in North London was 15th December, although he did get three minutes as a substitute as the first-team crashed out of the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest.
In the six u23 matches the striker did play in 2017/18, he scored two goals and provided one assist. Hopefully he can replicate and improve on that once he gets a run of games in Belgium.
Akpom will need to really kick on to get more senior chances with Arsenal before the end of his contract in 2019. Even if he’s given up on the Gunners’ first-team, he still needs to make the most of this loan to impress potential future clubs. Good luck to him in doing so.