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Chris Wilder issues verdict on future of Middlesbrough player

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Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has suggested that forward Chuba Akpom will have a place in his plans for the 2022/23 Championship season if he doesn’t leave the club this summer. 

Akpom looked out of favour completely a few months ago and was told he was free to leave the Riverside but Wilder confirmed ahead of the season opener against West Bromwich Albion that no offers had come in for him.

The 26-year-old featured in the 1-1 draw against the Baggies – starting up top alongside Duncan Watmore – and appears to have convinced the manager that he could have a role to play this season.

Speaking to the Northern Echo, Wilder indicated that Akpom will have a place in his plans if he doesn’t leave Boro in the current transfer window.

He said: “I thought Chuba’s performance was really good. He won his headers, he linked up play really well and showed he’s an intelligent player. If he’s about then we’ll work with him.”

Boro spent nearly £3 million on the striker back in 2020 but he struggled to make much of an impact since and spent last season on loan with Greek side PAOK Salonika.

The former Arsenal academy player has a year left on his contract at the Riverside.

The Verdict

It’s been quite the turnaround for Akpom, who looked near certain to be leaving the club earlier in the summer but appears to have battled his way back into the manager’s plans.

That is in no small part due to the fact that despite signing Marcus Forss from Brentford last week, Wilder is still short of forward options with the new campaign now underway.

Akpom produced a promising display against Albion, which highlighted that he could be a useful option moving forward.

He looks set to benefit from what has been a fairly slow window for Boro but things could still change with a month to go in the window.

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London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Chris Wilder issues verdict on future of Middlesbrough player

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