Arsenal have confirmed Chuba Akpom will follow teammate Isaac Hayden to Hull City on loan, a move that may just hint at the possible arrival of a new striker at the Emirates Stadium given that it comes two weeks after manager Arsene Wenger suggested he was set to feature in his plans for the 2015-16 campaign.
The 19-year-old striker, formerly dispatched for separate spells at Brentford and Coventry City in League One, made seven senior substitute appearances for the Gunners in all competitions last term before returning to the Football League with Nottingham Forest in March.
Although he did not manage to score once during that seven-game spell under Dougie Freedman in the Championship, Akpom proved his ability by notching a hat-trick for Arsenal during their emphatic 4-0 victory over a Singapore Select XI at the Barclays Asia Trophy on 15 July.
After that performance, Wenger challenged his young forward to repeat such impressive form in bigger matches while also rejecting any notion that he would be allowed to leave the club on another short-term deal. He told Arsenal's official website: "No. I sent him out on loan last year because I thought he needed that. This pre-season, during the season I plan to keep him with us."
That resolve appears to have softened quite considerably since then, though, despite Akpom appearing as a substitute in the trophy final against Everton and in both Emirates Cup wins over Lyon and Wolfsburg.
Widespread speculation that the player was set for a second stint in the Championship was substantiated on 4 August, with recently relegated Hull first announcing he had joined Steve Bruce's side for the entire season and Arsenal also confirming the deal via their official website.
In addition to the sudden change of heart regarding Akpom, who at the end of July stated a desire to stay put rather than embark upon another loan, suggestions that Wenger is likely to bolster his frontline with at least one new striker before the summer transfer window closes on 1 September have been further boosted by the respective earlier departures of Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo.
Podolski joined reigning Super Lig champions Galatasaray in July after an underwhelming spell with Inter Milan, while Sanogo has linked up with former Arsenal duo Marc Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp on loan at Ajax. In terms of possible new arrivals in that area, Karim Benzema stands out as perhaps the leading candidate ahead of compatriot Alexandre Lacazette and Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain.
Recent reports from Spanish daily AS stated that Arsenal had set aside €65m (£45.6m, $71.2m) in order to try and sign the Real Madrid frontman, who was left out of Rafael Benitez's squad for the Audi Cup tournament in Germany with a right thigh problem, although Wenger denied any transfer was imminent following the 1-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea at Wembley. "No, nothing is happening," he said. "Honestly, no. I don't know who brings that up. Is it Spanish media or English media? I don't know."