This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Middlesbrough are pushing to secure a deal for PAOK striker Chuba Akpom, as per On Sports.
Akpom, 24, joined PAOK from Arsenal in the summer of 2018, and he has since scored 14 goals in 54 league appearances for the Greek side.
The striker has plenty of experience in the EFL having had numerous loan spells in the second tier, with him having stints at the likes of Brentford, Coventry, Nottingham Forest and Hull City.
So, what do you make of this from a Boro perspective? Good signing?
The team here at FLW take a look….
This could be a really smart signing for Boro.
There can be no denying that they need another striker, as Neil Warnock previously admitted. Ashley Fletcher scored a fair amount of goals last term and Britt Assombalonga also knows where the net is, but they need attacking reinforcements for sure.
Akpom is a player who has been given a new lease of life in Greece since making the move to PAOK, after difficult spells at the likes of Nottingham Forest and Arsenal, and he scored nine goals last season which is a decent record for a player who plays in a league which is of decent standard.
He is a quick, strong forward who can play up top on his own or in a two, which makes him a potentially very useful forward for Warnock, who often likes his strikers to be strong and good in the air.
What strikes me as the most important factor in this potential deal, though, is that Akpom is a player with a point to prove, and he will be eager to impress upon his return to England after going away, building his confidence and finding his feet in front of goal. It’s a great piece of business, in my view.
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There’s a need for Boro to sign a striker in the coming days and Akpom is perhaps a reaction to the deal for Sanogo falling through.
Warnock is having to put too much pressure on the likes of Assombalonga and Fletcher at the moment. I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted to start with the latter in the League Cup, but it was perhaps a message to the board to step on the gas.
Akpom will come in and offer competition to that pair. Whether he’s an upgrade, I’m not sure, but it is a body through the door in a difficult market.
If the striker can ease some of the burden on Assombalonga and Fletcher, it’ll be a deal worth doing for a sometimes toothless Boro.
There is no doubt in my mind that Boro need some more reinforcements in the final third but I can’t say I’m fully convinced that Akpom is the right man for the job.
The Arsenal academy product clearly has good pedigree and has shown glimpses of his ability in the Championship during loan spells previously.
Add to that the fact that he’s coming off the back of two of the best goalscoring seasons of his career and the 24-year-old looks an interesting addition.
My concern is that he’s scored his goals in the Greek Super Ligue, so you’d certainly question the quality of opposition defences.
He’s likely worth a punt for Boro because they’ve struggled to land players this summer but I do think he could be a bust.