Happy Birthday Chuba!
Our striker Chuba Akkom turns 26 today, and PAOK FC would like to wish him many years of health, happiness and successes on both a personal and professional level.
Birthday boy Chuba Akpom was born to Nigerian parents on October 9, 1995 in Canning Town in London, United Kingdom. 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 is 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.
The Englishman proved an excellent aquisition, contributing in a mayor way to the conquest of the Greek domestic double, being in fact the MVP of the Greek Cup final at the OAKA against AEK and scoring the only goal of the match.
In total, Akpom has score 18 goals and contributed 10 assists in 79 appearances with PAOK.
AK47 stayed for one more season after the double win and left in the summer of 2020 for Middlesbrough. After just one season back in his homeland, however, PAOK came kncoking on his door once more and he returned to Thessaloniki.