Akpom: Super Eagles hopeful unsure of Ajax future under new boss Farioli

Chuba Akpom has admitted there are uncertainties surrounding his stay at Ajax.

The Nigerian forward joined Ajax in August last year, bringing with him an impressive reputation after playing a crucial role in Middlesbrough's journey to the Championship playoffs in the 2022/2023 season.

Akpom netted 28 goals in the English second tier, earning him the PFA Championship Player's Player of the Year, EFL Championship Player of the Season, and the Golden Boot.

Despite these achievements, he has been unable to repeat his success at Ajax. As a result, he is already being linked with a return to England, with Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace reportedly showing interest in him.

Akpom has scored 11 goals in 25 games for Ajax and three assists in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Akpom weighs future amid interest from Premier League, Germany, and France

Speaking to Telegraaf, Akpom opened up about his uncertain future at Ajax, revealing that his impressive goal-scoring record has attracted attention from several clubs. Reflecting on his situation and aspirations, Akpom shared:

“To be honest, I don't know where I will be playing next season. There is a lot of interest. But that makes sense given the limited playing time I got and the number of goals I scored. I am now 28 and feel that I am at my best physically and mentally. My goal is always to play as high as possible and for the best team imaginable. Not only am I doing well in the Premier League, but there is also contact with clubs from Germany and France.”

Despite the uncertainty, Akpom remains open to possibilities at Ajax, adding: “But I have a contract with Ajax and maybe there will be a manager who really likes me. We'll see what happens in the summer.”

Francesco Farioli's arrival at Ajax: A turning point for Chuba Akpom?

With the appointment of Francesco Farioli as the new head coach of Ajax, there’s renewed speculation about Chuba Akpom’s future at the club.

Farioli, the former Nice boss, has signed a three-year deal, bringing a fresh perspective and potential tactical changes that could significantly impact the team’s dynamics and individual player roles.

Akpom, who joined Ajax last year with high expectations following an impressive season at Middlesbrough, has struggled to replicate his previous form. Despite scoring 28 goals and earning multiple accolades in the English Championship, his transition to the Eredivisie hasn’t been as seamless.

Farioli’s arrival could be the catalyst Akpom needs to unlock his full potential at Ajax. Known for his tactical acumen and ability to maximise player strengths, Farioli may provide the structured yet flexible environment that Akpom requires to thrive.

The Italian coach’s emphasis on attacking football and player development could see Akpom playing a more central role in the team’s offensive strategies.

Chuba Akpom: Super Eagles hopeful unsure of Ajax future under new boss Farioli
Photo by Icon Sport

Staying at Ajax under Farioli might offer Akpom the stability and support needed to regain his confidence and form.

With Farioli’s track record of nurturing talent and his commitment to a three-year project, Akpom could benefit from the long-term vision and consistent managerial approach.

However, the decision to stay should also consider the immediate interest from other clubs, notably from the Premier League, Germany, and France.

These opportunities present Akpom with a chance to test himself in different leagues and perhaps secure more playing time.

Chuba Akpom: Super Eagles hopeful unsure of Ajax future under new boss Farioli
Photo by Icon Sport

Balancing the potential of a new beginning under Farioli with the allure of new challenges abroad will be crucial in Akpom’s decision-making process.

Akpom’s best course of action might be to stay at Ajax, at least in the short term, to see how he fits into Farioli’s plans.

With the right guidance and a renewed tactical framework, Akpom could find himself flourishing and reaching the heights he once did at Middlesbrough, thus reigniting his career and solidifying his position as a key player for Ajax.

Akpom yet to represent Nigeria at international level

Born in London to Nigerian parents, Akpom stands at a crossroads in his international football career.

Despite his history of representing England at the youth level, Akpom's eligibility to play for Nigeria's Super Eagles remains, sparking uncertainty about his international future.

In March 28, 2017, reports suggested Akpom was close to joining the Nigerian national team, alongside Nottingham Forest's Ola Aina, after discussions with Amaju Pinnick, the former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In September 2019, he affirmed his intention to play for the Super Eagles . Speaking to BBC Sport, Akpom expressed, “It was a personal choice. I identify strongly with Nigeria, as does my entire family, and it would be a great honor to represent my country.”

Avatar photo
Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
His passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have established him as a trusted authority in sports journalism in Ghana, captivating audiences with his engaging narratives and unparalleled expertise.
Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.