Middlesbrough signed former Arsenal striker, Chuba Akpom from PAOK in 2020. The 27-year-old was unable to make his mark at the Emirates and was sent on a few loan spells to other clubs playing in the EFL Championship. In search of regular game time, the striker decided to leave North London. Chuba Akpom is not a prolific goal scorer, but the player has come to life in the 2022–23 season. The striker is enjoying his best goal-scoring record in a season. Boro made a managerial change by appointing Michael Carrick. This managerial change has had a positive impact on the form of the striker. We will now look at some of the stats that demonstrate how the striker is flourishing under the former Manchester United midfielder.
Chuba Akpom has made 16 appearances in the EFL Championship this season. These include 13 starts and he has managed to score nine goals. The above pizza chart shows the overall stats of the player in comparison to the percentile rank with other centre-forwards in the EFL Championship. It can be noticed that the striker is ranked highly for scoring goals and shots per 90 minutes.
The goal-scoring form
Chuba Akpom is in good goal-scoring touch this season. The 27-year-old is about to reach double figures for the first time in his career in the league. The striker has scored nine goals this season, with one coming off the penalty spot. The above graph shows all 33 shots taken by the player this season. Akpom averages 2.4 shots per 90 minutes and has a high accuracy rate of 51.5%. He has scored all the goals from inside the opposition penalty box. We can notice that the striker has taken attacking positions on the edge of the 6-yard box to score goals.
Chuba Akpom spent the last season on loan at Greek side PAOK. The striker appeared in 34 matches and scored seven goals. The xG map shows that Akpom has scored goals from similar positions inside the penalty box. The average shots per 90 minutes and the accuracy rate were a bit similar to this season.
Akpom under Carrick
Middlesbrough have played seven matches under Michael Carrick this season. They have won four, drawn one, and lost two matches. Akpom has played all 90 minutes in six matches and was taken off in the 72nd minute of one of the matches. A central figure in the attack, Chuba Akpom also likes to drift towards the right side, as shown in the heatmap. He has taken 44 touches inside the penalty box, and 27 have come under Carrick.
Chuba Akpom has shown a lot of improvement under Michael Carrick. Of the 33 shots attempted this season, 21 have come under the management of Carrick. He has scored five goals in the last seven matches and has also missed a penalty. Apkom’s positioning inside the box and the shots taken from those positions generate a high xG rate.
Another department where the striker has shown signs of improvement is in his passing stats. Chuba Akpom averages 13.63 passes per 90 minutes with an 80.7% accuracy rate. Before Carrick’s arrival, the striker attempted five passes to the final third and five into the opposition penalty box. The work rate improved under the former English international, and Akpom attempted 15 passes to the final third and eight to the opposition penalty area. The striker now has two assists to his name.
Chuba Akpom is having the best season of his career. The managerial change has brought a positive impact in the form of the striker. Michael Carrick will be happy with the goal-scoring touch that the former Arsenal player has shown. He will be a handy figure in Middlesbrough’s attempt to get back to the English Premier League.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine