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Sports News of Sunday, 5 March 2023


'A terrific achievement' – Record-making Super Eagles-eligible star draws praise from ex-Man United hero

Chuba Akpom Chuba Akpom

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick has showered praises on striker Chuba Akpom after his record-equalling display against Reading at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Akpom ran the show as the home fans witnessed Boro thrash the Royals 5-0 for their biggest win of the season.

The Super Eagles hopeful scored twice in the game, including a well-taken penalty in the 24th minute, to take his tally to an impressive 21 league goals this season, equaling Bernie Slavens’ haul of 33 years ago.

In addition, his second goal of the game saw him become the first Boro player to score 14 home goals in one season since Fabrizio Ravanelli in 1996-97.

What has been said?

After the match, Carrick spoke highly of Akpom’s contributions to the team, stating that the striker’s all-around performance was terrific.

“It’s a terrific achievement,” the Manchester United ace was quoted by Gazette Live.

“It’s not easy to score that many goals. He’s scored all different types of goals for us since I’ve been here. I thought his performance was fantastic. He gets credit for his goals, but his performance all-round was terrific.

“And because we have threats in different areas, he ends up getting a bit more space. To score that many goals, hopefully he can carry on and set a new target for himself.”

With the win, third-place Middlesbrough move to within four points of second-place Sheffield United after the Blades fell 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers also on Saturday.

Akpom sits atop the league’s goalscorer chart with 21 goals, four more than Coventry’s Viktor Gyökeres.

The 27-year-old striker’s brilliant display should not delight only Michael Carrick as he could also earn a first Super Eagles call-up.

Akpom, who once told the BBC that “I’m Nigerian and my whole family feel very Nigerian and it will be nice to represent Nigeria,” would be a great addition to the three-time African champions.