Chuba Akpom joined Nottingham Forest late in the loan transfer window, with the promising young striker seeking to gain valuable experience of professional football.
The striker made his debut for his temporary club on Friday afternoon against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but, despite providing some cause for encouragement with his endeavour and physicality, Akpom found himself overshadowed by a familiar figure on the other side of the field- Benik Afobe.
Afobe scored a tremendous individual goal to continue his remarkable season, with the Arsenal Academy graduate having found the net with regularity at both MK Dons and Wolves this campaign.
Despite his undoubted prowess, Afobe was unable to make the grade at Arsenal, providing Akpom with an indication as to just how difficult it will be to fulfil his own dreams of a sustained career in North London.
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Akpom has now made 20 competitive appearances at senior level but has yet to score a goal. Admittedly many of those outings have seen him introduced as a late substitute, but it is still a rather alarming statistic and one that he will be seeking to address as soon as possible.
The England U20 international wasted little time in endearing himself to the supporters at the City Ground as he chased after the ball with much enthusiasm and did well to win a free-kick before sending a header over the crossbar from the subsequent set-piece.
It will take far more than that, though, for Akpom to make the grade at Arsenal.
His eclectic blend of pace and brazen trickery has long since seen him earmarked as a potential star of the future, a case which can be supported by a wealth of evidence with regards to his performance for Arsenal and England’s youth teams at various age groups.
Now is the time for him to start proving it at senior level.
Following Friday’s result it is looking increasingly unlikely that Forest will make the end-of-season play-offs and, if that proves to be the case, then Akpom has just six more matches in order to make an impression at his loan club this season, having struggled during previous stints with Brentford and Coventry City.
Akpom has the security of a new, long-term contract at Arsenal and, at just 19, has much time on his side with regards to his development.
He will be hoping, though, that he won’t have to wait too much longer before celebrating his first professional goal.