By Milcah Tanimu
Sven Mislintat, the Director of Football at Ajax, has unveiled a previously untold chapter of Chuba Akpom’s career, highlighting that he came close to securing the striker’s signature for Borussia Dortmund from Arsenal when Akpom was just 19 years old. This revelation follows Akpom’s recent transfer to Ajax, where he inked a five-year deal for an initial fee of €12.3 million.
With a remarkable track record as the chief scout at Dortmund from 2006 to 2017 and a similar role at Arsenal from 2017 to 2019, Mislintat is well-versed in talent assessment and recruitment. He spoke of his admiration for Akpom’s versatility on the field during his formative years, playing across various positions including supporting striker, attacking midfielder, winger, and number nine.
Recalling his past endeavors, Mislintat recounted his pursuit of Akpom’s services from Arsenal during the latter’s tender years at the age of 19. Regrettably, Akpom opted to remain at Arsenal at that juncture. Akpom’s journey subsequently encompassed challenging loan stints before experiencing a breakthrough in his career trajectory with clubs like PAOK in Greece and Middlesbrough in the Championship. Notably, his prolific goal-scoring exploits saw him emerge as the top scorer in the league, an achievement rewarded with the player of the season accolade.
Mislintat conveyed his satisfaction with Akpom’s evolution and growth as a striker, particularly as he approaches the age of 28. Akpom’s recent transition to Ajax heralds a fresh chapter in his professional journey, as he seeks to make a meaningful impact with the revered Dutch club.