Arsenal bring centre forward back to Emirates Stadium after mixed success of loan period in League One.
Chuba Akpom is set to return to Arsenal from his loan at Coventry City, with the 18 year-old struggling to maintain a difficult balancing act between the Sky Blues and his parent club.
Akpom has been moving back and forth between the two sides in order to feature for Coventry’s first team and the Gunners at youth level, and it is something that has proved frustrating for the League One side’s manager Steven Pressley.
“It’s not an ideal situation and I actually think it’s having a little bit of an effect on the player because we’re trying to teach him to play for us in a certain style and then he’s returning to his club and for periods they are asking him to play in a different style, and I don’t think it’s helping the kid in any way,” said Pressley to the Coventry Telegraph.
“We fully respect Arsenal’s position but I don’t think it’s doing anyone any favours just now so it’s a situation we are going to have to look at.
“He’ll be back for the weekend but I don’t think it’s helping him. He’s only 18 and it’s a big ask for him to come out and play, but it’s an even bigger ask when he is having to return there to a different culture and then return to us again. It’s just not ideal for the player and I think it’s affecting him.
“Prior to the Colchester game when we had a good week with him leading up to the match, really working closely with him on our methods, we saw his best performance since coming here. But I think it’s having a little bit of a detrimental affect on his progress.”
Akpom did not score in any of his ten games for Coventry, though five of his appearances did come from the bench, but his tactical play and adaptation to the intensity of first team football have nevertheless reportedly impressed Arsene Wenger.
So too has the teenager’s form in the UEFA Youth League, with four goals and two assists in his six appearances, and he also performed well on the Gunners’ pre-season tour.
Akpom could prove something of a wildcard for the remainder of the season for Arsenal.