The former Arsenal forward has been exceptional over the past year but was not considered in the Super Eagles’ provisional roster for the continental championships
Former Bordeaux and PSV striker Wim Kieft has revealed his admiration for Ajax Amsterdam forward Chuba Akpom following his exceptional displays in recent weeks, Soccernet.ng reports.
After struggling to carve a niche for himself at Ajax in the first few weeks following his move from Middlesbrough in the summer, Akpom has returned to his free-scoring old self.
The former Arsenal forward, who scored 28 goals for Boro last term to finish top of the goalscoring chart in the Championship, failed to score in September and October for Ajax.
However, the 28-year-old has been on fire since netting his first goal against Volendam on November 2nd.
Akpom’s record reads eight goals in his last ten games, with the London-born forward’s return to goalscoring form coinciding with Ajax’s climb from the relegation zone to the top half of the league table.
His brace in Ajax’s 3-1 win over AEK Athens on Thursday also helped Ajax secure a spot in the playoff round of the Europa Conference League.
And former Ajax and Torino centre-forward Kieft has been full of praise for Akpom.
“He remains a very special striker and it is nice to have someone like that behind you,” Kieft told De Telegraaf, as per HITC.
“If there is something wrong with Brian Brobbey or another attacker, you can bring Akpom in straight away.
“He also provides competition in the attack at Ajax. If someone loses form or fails, coach John van ‘t Schip can always count on Akpom.”
Despite Akpom’s brilliance for Middlesbrough last season and Ajax this term, he has been overlooked by Nigeria’s coaching crew headed by Jose Peseiro.
Eligible for England and Nigeria, Akpom has committed his international future to the three-time African champions.
Peseiro, however, did not include the former PAOK star in Nigeria’s 40-man provisional squad to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next month.
Despite Akpom’s absence, Nigeria will be represented by some brilliant attacking talents, including newly-crowned Africa Player of the Year Victor Osimhen and four-time Bundesliga Rookie of the Month winner Victor Boniface.