Chuba Akpom certainly had a point to prove after completing his move to Middlesbrough this summer.
The striker arrived at the Riverside Stadium after spending two years in Greece with PAOK where he scored 18 goals in 79 appearances.
At 25 years of age, Akpom is a completely different player to the young starlet who came through the Arsenal youth set-up, but how has the frontman got on under Neil Warnock? Let’s take a look.
How’s it gone so far?
Chuba Akpom could hardly have got off to a better start for the Teessiders.
The striker scored a debut goal as Middlesbrough played out a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers in West London, before following it up the following week with an effort against Barnsley.
Akpom has been a regular starter under Neil Warnock so far.
Out of his eight appearances so far, the 25-year-old has started six of them with his only absence being against Coventry City when he was suffering with illness.
The following two games saw him feature as a substitute as he battled his way back to fitness, before being named in the starting XI for the draw with Brentford before the international break.
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What issues does he face?
The main issue facing Chuba Akpom is competition for places.
While the striker has been a first team regular when fully fit, he has benefitted from fitness issues surrounding Middlesbrough’s other two strikers, Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher.
Fletcher is a long-term absentee, while Assombalonga has had his own fitness issues in the opening weeks of the season.
With Neil Warnock looking to play two up top it seems that Akpom and Assombalonga are the gaffer’s preferred partnership, but they’ll be put under pressure by players such as Patrick Roberts and Marcus Browne who will be looking to break into that attacking fold.
That said, Akpom should be safe providing he gets back to the sort of goal-scoring form that he showed early on.
Hopefully Middlesbrough supporters will be looking to see more of the same from Chuba Akpom.
While going off the boil in recent weeks, the striker has already shown that he has the attacking instincts to be a goal-scoring threat and that’s hopefully something that he can build upon in the coming weeks.
Middlesbrough aren’t a side who are going to score a hatful of goals this term, but if Akpom can stay sharp and convert the chances that come his way then he could be set for a big role in an exciting season for Warnock’s Championship dark horses.