Chuba Akpom
Chuba Akpom is looking to earn a first team role at Arsenal, and a three-goal haul in Singapore will only have aided those ambitions. AFP

Chuba Akpom fired a statement of intent to manager Arsene Wenger and first-choice striker Olivier Giroud by netting a hat-trick during Arsenal's first pre-season friendly in Singapore.

The 19 year old, who finished last season on loan in the Championship with Nottingham Forest, gave Arsene Wenger's side the lead on the half-hour mark of their Barclays Asia Trophy opener against a Singapore Select XI at the National Stadium, capitalising on good work from youngster Alex Iwobi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Jack Wilshere doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after right-back Mathieu Debuchy was felled inside the area, while Akpom also notched a spot kick of his own before completing a satisfying 4-0 rout by turning home Hector Bellerin's cross with 11 minutes remaining.

"Overall it was a positive game because we had a good resistance in the first game. We were tested against a very resilient, very dynamic, very mobile and a team with a good collective attitude," Wenger told the club's official website following a match which also featured a Gunners debut for former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

"We were tested and we had to play with pace. Overall I liked the fact that we kept a good team focus and as well that individually, every player had to dig deep. We suffered a little bit to get a good workout."

Referring specifically to Akpom's impressive display and whether he will get a chance to impress next season, he added: "That's up to him. How much? I don't know but I just believe that it's an encouragement to do well and to work even harder.

"He's a young player and it can lift his confidence. The confidence in the dressing room that you sense from the other players is important as well and that can help him. Let's not forget it's a friendly. He's a good talent but he has to work and show that in [the big] games."

Wenger did confirm that the England U20 international would be retained by Arsenal rather than dispatched for another loan spell in the Football League or elsewhere.

"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."

If Akpom, who is yet to register a goal in senior competitive football with Arsenal, Nottingham Forest or during other temporary stints with Brentford and Coventry City, can keep up that level of performance throughout the summer, then tentative questions will surely be asked as to whether he is capable of featuring for the first team on a regular basis next term.

Wenger is believed to be keen to freshen up his current striking options with doubts continuing to linger over Giroud's capabilities and the ineffective Lukas Podolski having left to join Galatasaray earlier in July.

Danny Welbeck made just 18 top-flight starts in 2014/15 after signing from Manchester United in September and The Mirror claims that Arsenal have entered into negotiations with Eredivisie runners-up Ajax concerning a season-long loan movefor Yaya Sanogo.

Giroud sounded relatively unconcerned by the possibility of Arsenal signing a new striker in more comments published by the club's website earlier today (15 July), insisting that increased competition helped to improve his own form.

"You have to deal with that [competition] all the time and it helped me be a better player," he said.

"People are always talking about different players. I focus on myself and try to improve my game. As a team we improve and I am happy with that."

Wenger himself has admitted that he is not ruling out the possibility of making further signings during the current transfer window but Akpom may take encouragement from his manager's eagerness to stress the importance of cohesion within the current squad.

"I don't close the door if we find any player who can strengthen the squad," he said earlier this week, as reported by The Telegraph.

"We have already strengthened the squad, but I believe part of the success of the squad is also the level of cohesion. We have a good level of cohesion. I believe we have the quality, and it's now about how much we can be stronger together."

Following their victory over the Singapore Select XI, Arsenal face Everton in the 2015 Asia Trophy final on 18 July.