Akpom braces for new Ajax role


By: Abiodun Adewale.

Ajax striker, Chuba Akpom, has expressed his willingness to play in any forward role for the Dutch giants after being fielded on the right side of their front three against FC Twente in what was his first start for the club on Sunday.

Ajax were beaten 3-1 by Twente as Maurice Steijn’s men suffered their first defeat of the season just as they continue to struggle in the league with just one win in four matches.

After the game, Akpom likened himself to former Arsenal player, Dennis Bergkamp, saying he could as well fit in as a second striker.

“A fantastic player, who of course also played at Ajax. He could play as a false nine and connect the game,” Akpom said as quoted by Voetbal Primeur.

“He was also very physical. Everyone talks about his technique, but he was merciless.

“I also have that a bit, because I also try to play as a second striker. I also have the technical and physical qualities.”

The retired Netherlands international Bergkamp, originally a wide midfielder, moved to the centre forward role and then as a second striker.

Ajax director of football, Sven Mislintat, also noted the versatile qualities of Akpom during his signing, suggesting the Nigerian could be deployed in different roles.

If Akpom gets a chance to start as the point man, he will compete with 21-year-old Netherlands forward Brian Brobbey, who has started all their games this season.

Akpom spearheaded Middlesbrough’s attack in the Championship last season, scoring 29 goals in 42 games across all competitions, which earned him the best player award in the English second-tier and the summer move to Ajax.