The PFA confirmed earlier this week that Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom had won the Championship Fans’ Player of the Month for November, with Akpom responding: “Thank you guys, the support is much appreciated.”
In his four matches between November 1st and November 12th – after which the Championship went on a break for the World Cup – Akpom scored three goals and assisted one.
The assist was as impressive as any of the goals, with Akpom holding the ball up, pulling off a flick to escape a defender, before firing a low cross into the feet of Matt Crooks for a 92nd-minute winner.
Akpom has returned from the break in similar form, scoring an equaliser in Middlesbrough’s 2-1 comeback win over Luton Town at the weekend.
In all, the former Arsenal striker has nine goals and one assist in 15 Championship games this season, which makes him the joint-top scorer in the division.
Every other player on nine goals has played more minutes than Akpom, who missed a month of football from August to September through injury.
With a 32% conversion rate, Akpom is also finishing chances as efficiently as anyone else in the league’s top-10 goalscorers. Only Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez, who also has nine goals from 28 shots, can match him.
Middlesbrough’s form has massively improved as Akpom’s goal contributions have increased, unsurprisingly. The team dropped as low as bottom of the table in Akpom’s absence, and they were 20th as recently as November 1st.
Yet they’re now up to 12th, just four points behind the play-off places, and it doesn’t seem impossible they make a run for promotion in the second half of the season.
A good goalscorer can do that for you, and right now Akpom is in the goalscoring form of his career.