In the summer of 2015, Chuba Akpom joined the championship team Hull City on a season-long loan. As time went on at KCom Stadium, he was celebrating the Tigers’ promotion to the Premier League, thanking them for their play-off final victory over Sheffield.
In January 2017, Akpom joined Brighton in the second half of their season. By May, he had appeared ten times to help Seagulls achieve automatic promotion to top-flight.
Fast forward to 2020, after a successful spell of two years in Greece with POK Salonica, Akpom returns to the championship after joining Middlesbrough in a $ 2.75 million move.
His last two mantras in the division have led to promotion, so as Boro prepares to make his debut at QPR this afternoon, he is already aiming for what will be a notable hat-trick.
“Glad to be a little lucky,” Akpom joked, borrowing from the championship when he was in Arsenal’s books. “I revolve around the teams that win in this division, so I feel like I have seen what it takes to win.
“I know the team spirit needed in good and bad times, it only helps the boys. My experience only helps, so I have my role to play. Whether I start it or get off the bench, I need to make the most of the game and the group. ”
If Akpom had not moved to Middlesbrough earlier this month, he would have spent the last few days preparing for POK’s Champions League qualifier against FK Krasnodar next week, securing a place in the group stage of the match for the draw winners.
After beating Portuguese giants Benfica in the final qualifying round, Salonika booked their place, but Akpom took the lead but the 24-year-old rejected the suggestion of joining Borough one step down.
Not to mention the constant competitiveness of a program that became more intense as a result of the corona virus pandemic, and his experience in the championship left no doubt about the quality of the division he now plays for.
“Physically, playing in England is definitely more challenging, and technically, I think I’m one step ahead of playing in Greece,” said Akpom, whose goals helped PAOK win the doubles in his first season on the continent.
“It may be a championship, but it is definitely one of the toughest leagues in the world. One hundred percent. I think any player would say the same thing, so this would definitely be a step up for me, but I have played and won in this league before. Coming back is good – I’m sure I will do well. ”
Before playing for Hull and Brighton, Acpom had a minor misspelling in Nottingham Forest, where he was assigned for the injured Brit Asombalonga.
He never got a chance to play with his new teammate at City Ground, so while Ashley Fletcher is comfortable enough to be on the team for today’s match at Loftus Road, Akpom wants to establish a relationship with Boro’s record signing.
“Britt was injured when I was in the forest,” he said. “I want to play with him, so thankfully I now have the opportunity to do it. We are two different types of players, but I can already see that I am forming a small combination in training. Fletch has to come back, and making a connection and understanding is good for all of us. ”
Akpom also looks forward to his first face-to-face meeting with Neil Warnock. Boro Boss is in isolation as he continues to climb out of Covid, but Acpom admits that he was a more important factor in his decision to choose Boro than the other English and European clubs he had for himself.
“I’ve watched him (Warnock) for years, and everyone in the game knows what he’s about,” he said. “He’s not just a manager, he’s a mentor to the players.”