Akpom eyes second successive promotion

Chuba Akpom is on loan to Albion from Arsenal. Picture by Paul Hazlewood (BHAFC)

Chuba Akpom is on loan to Albion from Arsenal. Picture by Paul Hazlewood (BHAFC)

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Striker Chuba Akpom joined Albion on loan from Arsenal on Monday with the goal of securing a second successive promotion.

The 21-year-old was part of the Hull City team which won promotion from the Championship last season, beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in the play-off final in May.

Akpom scored seven goals in 41 matches for the Tigers and has previously been on loan at Nottingham Forest, Coventry and Brentford.

On why he chose to join Brighton, with other clubs interested, he said: "I just saw the way that the team was playing and with a lot of confidence.

"They're always creating opportunities and as a striker you want to be there when an opportunity comes.

"There's a lot of experienced players, so I can only learn from them and the gaffer as well.

"I spoke to a few players and they just told me great things about the gaffer. We grew up in the same area and went to the same school (St Bonaventure's), so it just made perfect sense to come here.

"We can relate a lot and as soon as I met him we got speaking about the area and stuff like that, so I'm looking forward to working with him."

Akpom also went to the same primary school as Arsenal team-mate Alex Iwobi, who has broken into the first team squad at the Gunners this season.

Akpom says that is a motivation for him: "Just seeing Alex doing good is a really proud moment for me because we grew up together and he's like a brother to me.

"To see him doing well and pushing on is good and I use it as a motivation. I've come here and I want to play games for the first team and show everyone what I can do."

Reflecting on his loan spell at Hull, Akpom said: "The Championship is a tough league, sometimes I was playing and sometimes I wasn't but I learned so much from it - from the manager and the team.

"Everyone gave me advice and every game we were just looking to win and push for promotion. Everyone was eager to get back into the Premier League and I'm sure it will be the same here, everyone will come in for training every day with the same winning mentality and I'm looking forward to it."

A back injury in September has meant Akpom has played just once this season, in a EFL Cup tie at Nottingham Forest for Arsenal. He said: "The injury came at the worst time after I'd played in the game against Nottingham Forest.

"I just have to take the positives out of it. Now I'm here at a good club with good fans, a good training facility and good people around. I've got to take the positives from it, push on and push for promotion here."

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