Premier League clubs want Ajax’s Chuba Akpom: Will a return to England boost his Super Eagles chances?

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Ajax Amsterdam forward Chuba Akpom could be on his way back to England barely a year after he left England for the Netherlands, reports.

After an excellent campaign laced with goals and awards that nearly saw him lead Middlesborough back to the Premier League, Akpom became one of the most in-demand strikers in England and abroad.

The Anglo-Nigerian forward reportedly snubbed a couple of Premier League clubs to sign for AFC Ajax for a fee believed to be in the region of €12 million.

After a difficult start in Amsterdam, Akpom has shown glimpses of his brilliance, netting 12 goals in 25 appearances across both the Eredivisie and the Europa League.

His stats become even more impressive when one considers that the 28-year-old attacker has started only six of those matches for one of the poorest Ajax teams in recent times.

Whether he makes the starting lineup or not, Akpom makes an impact. He played only 34 minutes against Sparta Rotterdam but scored the goal and assisted the other in a 2-2 draw in mid-March.

Akpom started Ajax’s next league match after the international break and scored twice in a 3-1 over PEC Zwolle.

It is the kind of form that shoots strikers to the top of the transfer wishlist of many clubs heading into the summer.

Premier League clubs want Akpom

According to Ajax Fanatics, several unnamed Premier League clubs are keen on taking Akpom back to England ahead of next season.

Luton Town FC and Everton are long-time admirers of Akpom, and both clubs still look far from settling their attacking issues.

Since Akpom is considered a ‘homegrown’ player, English top-flight clubs are even more open to moving for the former Arsenal forward, as per Ajax club watcher Lentin Goodijk.

“Akpom’s ratings remain very good in England,” Goodijk said.

“He is ‘homegrown’ and can provide good statistics. Clubs in the upper end of the Premier League, in particular, are very interested in this.”

Akpom reacts to transfer

However, Akpom has reacted to the transfer rumours making the mills.

It would be a dream for the former Arsenal forward to play in the Premier League, but he insists he stays committed to Ajax.

Akpom admits he does not know what Ajax’s plan is considering his transfer: whether to sanction his departure or let him stay for at least one more year.

While the Super Eagles hopeful maintains that he wants to stay at Ajax, he leaves the door open for a possible departure from the club.

Honestly, I have no idea,” Akpom told ESPN, as per AF, when asked where his next possible destination is.

“We’ll probably look into that at the end of the season. Right now, we need to focus on getting three points from every game we play.

“Honestly, I don’t know much about what’s happening behind closed doors. I talk to my agent, but I don’t know what the club thinks.

“I made it clear that I wanted to stay here (during the winter window) because I believed I could have a big impact. So, I really wanted to stay.

“Of course, I want to stay. I play for Ajax. I know it hasn’t been a good season for us, but I enjoy it here. Besides, we can only do better next season. I’m definitely happy to be here.”

Akpom’s Super Eagles chances

Returning to England may quickly make Akpom’s dreams of playing for Nigeria a reality.

Born in London to parents of Nigerian descent, Akpom played for England at every youth level.

He, however, switched his allegiance to the African giants and has been waiting for his first Super Eagles call-up since.

Akpom came close to getting a look-in from the national team handlers during his last season at Middlesbrough, but he has been pushed down the pecking order since moving to the Netherlands.

A move to a Premier League club could change that, though.

Many Nigerian stars in the EPL were named in the Super Eagles squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Previously unheralded youngster Gabriel Osho earned a first Nigeria invitation in March, barely five months after making his Premier League debut for Luton Town.

NB: Would you have Chuba Akpom in place of Rangers’ Cyriel Dessers in the Super Eagles? League your comments below.