Arsene Wenger has told young striker Chuba Akpom he could have a future in Arsenal’s first team.
Akpom, 18, recently joined Brentford on loan until the end of the season and Gunners boss Wenger wants him to gain experience.
The England Under-19 international is regarded as an exciting prospect at the Emirates Stadium and impressed in last year’s NextGen series, where he was spotted by Bees boss Mark Warburton.
Akpom told West London Sport: “Arsene has told me there is a chance for me at Arsenal.
“He says I’ve got the ability, but I’ve got to work hard. It’s all up to me, that’s why I’m trying to improve in training and here at Brentford – to get the most out of myself.
“Arsene wanted me to go out on loan to get the experience. I’m young and he wants me to get physically, mentally and tactically stronger.
“I’m trying to get in the Arsenal team, that’s why I’ve come out on loan. I want the experience to become a better player so I can go back and push to get in the first team. Hopefully when I get back I’ll have what it takes.”
Akpom is yet to make his full Brentford debut, appearing twice as a substitute since his arrival at Griffin Park earlier this month.
He believes he is ready for League football, having had a solid grounding at Arsenal, where he has been since the age of seven.
“Arsenal is a great club to be at for any young player,” he said.
“I love how it is there. They’ve nurtured me since I started many years ago and everything I’ve ever known about football has come from Arsenal.”