Why Norwich City boss Alex Neil is seeking a loan injection to boost striker stocks

Arsenal's in-demand striker Chuba Akpom during a previous loan stint at Coventry City. Photo: Stephe

Arsenal's in-demand striker Chuba Akpom during a previous loan stint at Coventry City. Photo: Stephen Pond/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Norwich City face stiff competition to recruit Arsenal's highly-rated young striker Chuba Akpom ahead of the emergency loan deadline as Alex Neil looks to bolster his frontline following Lewis Grabban's recent ankle surgery.

The Gunners' hitman was reportedly in Norwich for talks last weekend ahead of a proposed short term deal, although Nottingham Forest along with City's promotion rivals Derby and Bournemouth have all been linked with the 19-year-old ahead of Thursday's deadline.

Akpom is currently part of the England Under-20s set-up, alongside Norwich City defender Harry Toffolo, preparing for Wednesday's friendly against Mexico's U20s at Barnet.

'Lewis Grabban missing gives us a different dynamic up top,' said Neil, on the striker who scored five goals in five games prior to his ankle injury. 'Cameron (Jerome) is a different type of player and his needs and natural movements are different from Lewis and we are trying to adapt to that. Gary Hooper, I think his best position is number 10. He has been used as a central striker but he is better in behind.

'I am not convinced that central striker role is his best because he is not the same player as Lewis. The one thing we have with those three strikers is a real, good mix because they all had their own strengths and weaknesses and what it did give me was good balance because I had Cameron's pace and power, Hoops' quality and ability to drop off and link up and Lewis could lead the line and take the ball in for me. The three are very different.

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'The fact I have lost one of those options makes it doubly difficult because Lewis was an option we were using, more often than not.'

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