Nothing pleases Monsieur Wenger more than the prospect of an academy graduate making it to the first team. Old habits die hard, but Wenger has shed away most of his inhibitions about spending big. However , his love and preference for academy graduates like Wilshere, Gibbs and Chamberlain among others is well professed.
Next in line from the Arsenal academy to make inroads in the first team squad appears to be 19-year-old Chuba Akpom, who has already played a bit part role for Arsenal last season. It has now been revealed that the promising forward will be wearing the no. 32 shirt starting next season.
The exciting under-20 England International impressed in his brief cameos for Arsenal last season, with his strong performances coming off the bench garnering interest from rivals Everton, Liverpool and Manchester city. However, the youngster signed a new four and a half year deal in February to commit his long term future to the Gunners.
He was loaned out to Nottingham Forest for the second half of last season where he impressed with his mature performances. Handing a familiar squad number like 32 highlights Wenger’s intent of keeping the young prodigy in his first team plans for next season.
That number was last worn by the impressive Theo Walcott in the early part of his career. If he gets anywhere close to matching Walcott’s performance levels in the shirt, Gunners fans can be rest assured that they have got a very good player on their hands.