Akpom just joined Ajax from Middlesbrough, and they have high expectations for him
Ajax Football Director Sven Mislintat believes Nigeria striker Chuba Akpom will succeed at the club because of his versatility, Soccernet reports.
The 27-year-old attacker had a superb campaign with Middlesbrough last season, registering 28 goals in 40 appearances.
His performances attracted some top-flight clubs in Europe, like Everton, Crystal Palace, Lens, and Lille, but he snubbed them and opted for a transfer to Ajax instead.
At Amsterdam, Akpom will be expected to play a vital role in the rebuilding process. Ajax have lost some of their best legs over the last two seasons, and they have fallen short of their previous levels.
Akpom will don the iconic number 10 jersey at Ajax which football greats like Johan Cruyff and Wesley Sneijder have won. This means that he will play an important role in Maurice Steijn’s side.
Ajax chief Maurice Steijn, who was the chief scout at Arsenal when Akpom was still in the youth team, is confident that the Nigerian will perform.
“Chuba is a football player who was already a special player at the age of nineteen,” Mislintat told Ajax TV per Ajax Life.
“He played as a supporting striker, attacking midfielder, sometimes as a winger, but also as number nine. He is a versatile player with many qualities.
“He comes into his own as a striker, but he can also play in a supporting position.
“For example, he can be on the field with Brobbey, because he can also play in midfield. If you ask him, he likes to score. But in a way that he is involved in the game.”
Akpom will be unavailable for Ajax when they play Excelsior this weekend because he is yet to get his work permit. However, he could play in their Europa League qualifier next week.