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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Akpom's England U19 call up cements a terrific month for the youngster

Sixteen year old Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom has progressed from one level to the next in the past month.

After making his debut for Terry Burton's reserve side just four weeks ago, Akpom has now been called up to England's U19 squad, alongside players such as Nathan Redmond (Birmingham) and James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) - with the latter starting for The Saints against Premier League champions Manchester City last week.

England U19 manager Noel Blake is usually a good judge of talent, and his side will take on Germany in a friendly this September. It will be a stern test for Akpom, who has not ceased to impress so far and will be confident of continuing his fine form.

Playing for England's U19 side when just sixteen years old shouldn't be a problem for the striker, who first appeared for Arsenal U18s at fifteen. At this age he almost made the England U19 squad, but remained on standby.

Akpom's strengths are varied. At 6ft2, he has the physical attributes - especially when married with his excellent hold up play and awareness - to make an effective target man. He also has the vision and skill to excel on the left wing or indeed in the no.10 position, just behind the main striker.

Such a multi-faceted skillset is rare to find in a man so young, not to mention his high work rate and down-to-earth attitude.

I asked Chuba some questions:

On the last month..."Its been really good. I had a good pre-season, especially scoring on my debut for the reserves against Boreham Wood. My main focus is to keep this run of form going"

On his England call up..."I'm really honoured to be selected to play for England U19s at just 16 years of age. It will be a great experience, and highly beneficial for my development as a footballer" 

On familiar faces in the squad..."I'm good mates with Raheem Sterling, we play a lot of football together during the summer break. He is a great player, I'm glad we are in the same squad"

'Til next time, and remember to Follow me on Twitter.

You can follow Chuba here.

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