Chuba is back
PAOK FC announces the transfer of Chuba Akpom on loan from Middlesbrough. The Enlgish forward returns to Thessaloniki after one year and he will once again wear the number 47 shirt.
During his… absence from Greece, Akpom returned to England and played for Middlesbrough in the Championship, scoring five goals in 39 appearances.
His transfer also launches a special partnership between PAOK and ICMEC (International Center for Missing & Exploited Childred) and AS Roma for participation in the Football Cares campaign that started at the initiative of the Italian club with the aim of helping to find missing children.
Over the past few years many clubs around the world, and the ECA (European Club Association), have joined this initiative in an effort to join forces for something bigger than football. And now PAOK, through it’s humanitarian arm PAOK Action, is now an active member of the movement in collaboration with the Super League and the organisation «The Child’s Smile». Because together we can make the world a little better!
He joined Arsenal’s youth system from the age of six, and his career has been steadily rising since, with the player always being a step above the children of his age group.
He played for the Gunners’ Under-18 side at just 15 years old, while he signed his first professional contract on his 17th birthday. On December 12, 2012, Akpom was included in the senior team for the first time when Arsenal defeated Olympiacos 2-1 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. In the 2012-13 season he played for the Under-21 side in the corresponding English Premier League championship and scored 13 goals in 20 appearances.
The following summer he was again called up to the first time in pre-season and scored four goals in friendlies against Indonesia, the Vietnam national team and the Urawa Red Diamonds. On September 14, 2013, he made his full Premier League debut in a 3-1 win over Sunderland, and played in both the Youth League and the FA Youth Cup, where he also scored a hat-trick against Peterborough.
In January 2014, Akpom was loaned out to League One side Brentford and played in four matches as a substitute during a one-month spell. In February he joined Coventry again on loan until the end of the season, with the agreement allowing the player to play in the Youth League and FA Youth Cup matches. He made six appearances and then returned to London.
The 2014-15 season found him involved in Arsenal’s squad with Arsene Wenger giving him some game time. In February 2015, several clubs were interested in signing the player and the Gunners offered Akpom a 4.5-year contract. A month later, he moved to Nottingham Forest for the season finale and made seven appearances for the club.
The following season was set to be the first full season of his senior professional career. He was loaned out to Hull in the second-tier of English football and played a leading role in the team’s rise to the Premier League. He played in 41 games, scoring seven goals and contributing one assist.
The 2016-17 season was not as full in terms of appearances for the English forward. He remained at Arsenal for the first half of the campaign, making just one appearance in the EFL Cup, in which he contributed an assist in a 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest. In the second half of the season, he joined Brighton and made 10 appearances, again celebrating another promotion to the Premier League.
The next season was a similar story. He stayed at Arsenal for the first half of the season and made two appearances before again being loaned out. Only this time things were a lot better. Akpom went to Sint-Truiden and played alongside Greeks Harisis and Kitsiou. The young forward may taken a bit of time to adjust, but in the Championship Play-out he was in stunning form, scoring five times and helping his team avoid relegation. In Belgium he played 16 matches and scored six goals in total, as well a contributing one assist.
At the same time, Akpom was an England youth international, having played for his country 44 times, scoring 20 goals.
His appearances with Sint-Truiden attracted the interest of many teams across Europe but PAOK won the race for his signature. He impressed in his first season (2018-19) in Greece. The Englishman was excellent and heavily contributed to the conquest of the domestic double, being in fact the MVP of the Greek Cup final at the OAKA against AEK and the scorer of the only goal of the match.
In total, Akpom made 79 appearances with PAOK, scoring 18 goals and contributing 10 assists.
AK47 remained at the club for one more season before leaving in the summer of 2020 for Middlesbrough. After a year back in his homeland, however, PAOK knocked on his door again and brought him back to Thessaloniki.