Arsenal have confirmed the departure of Chuba Akpom on loan to Brighton and Hove Albion for the rest of the season. The 21-year-old striker becomes the Gunners' second departure of the January transfer window following Jon Toral's move to Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.
"Chuba Akpom will join Championship leaders Brighton & Hove Albion on loan for remainder of the season," a statement on Arsenal's official site read.
The England U-21 international spent last season on loan at Hull City and played an important role in their promotion to the Premier League. Arsene Wenger refused to send him on loan in the summer, as he was keen to give him a run in the first-team during the cup matches, but Akpom suffered an injury after his first appearance in the League Cup in September.
Akpom has not featured in the first-team since his return from injury and with a host of senior options at Wenger's disposal, the English forward was unlikely to get a game with the north London club. Brighton manager Chris Hughton was delighted to have the Arsenal striker, and confirmed that they beat off competition from a number of other clubs to land his signature for the rest of the campaign. The Seagulls are currently top of the Championship table, two points ahead of second placed Newcastle United.
"As soon as we allowed Elvis Manu to go out on loan we knew we wanted to add to the forward area, so we are delighted to bring in someone of Chuba's calibre," Hughton told the Seagulls' official site.
"He is a young talent who gained valuable experience with Hull in the Championship last season, will give us really good pace in the forward areas and complement the other strikers at the club.
"We fought off competition from other clubs to sign Chuba, and we would like to thank Arsenal for the opportunity of working with him for the rest of the season," he added.
Meanwhile, according to the London Evening Standard, Charlton Athletic are reportedly plotting a late move for another young Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi. The 18-year-old is reportedly a subject of interest from a number of League One clubs after impressing for the Gunners' reserve sides in the last two campaigns.