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Chuba Akpom set for Forest loan

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The Arsenal youngster had the choice between several Championship clubs apparently, and he's picked Forest...

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According to various reports, including from ESPNFC, Chuba Akpom is set to join Forest on loan for the remainder of the season.

One might wonder quite why he's chosen Forest, when the alternatives apparently included Derby, Norwich, Ipswich and Bournemouth, but perhaps the opportunity for first-team football, when it wasn't guaranteed by any means at the other, more likely to win promotion sides, was the clincher.

The need for another striker was made even more stark with Dexter Blackstock's injury against Norwich, and while we don't yet know the severity of that ailment, he was Forest's last fit senior forward, with Matty Fryatt and Britt Assombalonga out with knacks of varying severity.

Of course, one could say that Forest have a ready-made solution to the problem with Tyler Walker. The young striker is of course highly-rated and has come off the bench in the last two games, so why not give him a chance in the team?

It's a valid argument, but there are a couple of reasons to protect him. Firstly, one assumes that Forest have quite a careful plan for his development, and that might not include throwing him into action before he is perhaps ready.

Indeed, with all three senior forwards out, not bringing in someone else might be seen as giving up on the club's admittedly quite vague prospects of making the playoffs. Plus, even if Dougie Freedman does use Walker, not signing someone else would leave him with little to no back-up, should Fryatt and Blackstock's problems continue.

Akpom signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal in January, and is highly-rated by Arsene Wenger. The Gunners boss said in February:

We could give another opportunity to Chuba Akpom and he has shown that he has quality when he comes on as well. Chuba looks dangerous and you can see that he will score goals.

Akpom has made seven appearances from the bench this season and is yet to score a senior goal, but has plenty for the Under-21s. See what you make of him in the only appropriate modern manner - with this YouTube compilation.

Perhaps slightly troublingly, Akpom had a spell on loan with Coventry in League One last season, but didn't score a goal and manager Steven Pressley didn't seem too impressed with his attitude. Pressley told the Coventry Telegraph:

I think we have a slight problem in respect of loan players and certain players that are coming towards the end of their contracts.

At the end of the day they return to their clubs or leave the team at the end of the season and it’s not their concern because it doesn’t affect them moving forward. But for me and the fans it’s a huge concern and I have to make sure we’ve people here with the right attitude.

We shall see.