2 games, 2 goals, that’s the record of two Arsenal youngsters currently playing their football in the Championship. One of them is now an ex player in Benik Afobe, the other is very much an Arsenal player in the making in the shape of Chuba Akpom, but will either of these talented young players ever be given an opportunity to perform at a big club?
Over the last few years we have seen a massive shift in the way modern strikers play. Previously, they would work in tandem, usually with a big lump and a speedster seen as the ideal pair. Now, however, the striker position is one of the loneliest on the field, with many clubs, especially the big ones, preferring to play with a lone front man. I believe this is a massive reason as to why there are a lack of quality young strikers available on the market, and why someone like Benik Afobe didn’t get a chance at Arsenal.
If you look back at the debuts of some talented young strikers who went on to make it at big clubs, you will see an obvious pattern. The likes of Owen, Anelka and Rooney all started young, and all made their debuts playing as one of a pair alongside a more experienced striker. These days though it’s almost impossible for a young player to get an opportunity when there is only 1 striker position available.
What we see now are the likes of Sturridge, Welbeck and Morata having to play in a wider role to try and prove their worth. All these players were eventually moved on by their giant clubs as they opted for more experienced and trusted options to lead the line.
There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, such as Kane, Berahino and Ings, but these breakthroughs tend to be at smaller clubs like Tottenham and West Brom, and only after star signings such as Soldado, Adebayor and Ideye have failed.
With Arsenal constantly being linked to the likes of Benzema, Cavani and Lewandowski, my questions for you are how do you think the signing of one of these star strikers effects the chances of Akpom? Do you ever see a situation where a huge club, like Arsenal, can put their trust in a young player to lead the line when the demand for results is at an all time high?
Also, if it’s not formation, what do you think, if anything, is to blame for the lack of quality young striking talent in Europe?
Written by FatGingerGooner