A chat with Man Utd's Sancho left me excited about Carrick… but I never knew I'd be Championship top scorer for Boro | The Sun
THE CHAMPIONSHIP’S top scorer has revealed how a chat with pal Jadon Sancho left him chomping at the bit to work for Michael Carrick at Middlesbrough.
Former Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom started the season training with Boro’s Under-21 team.
He arrived at the Riverside in 2020 from PAOK but was soon shipped out back to the Greek club first by Neil Warnock and then left on the sidelines by Chris Wilder.
Manchester United legend Carrick, 41, replaced the axed Wilder in October with Boro sitting 22nd in the table but has since transformed the Teessiders.
They now sit in third, just three points off automatic promotion, with their incredible rise matched by striker Akpom.
He has fired 24 goals in all competitions so far for Boro, including 23 in the Championship, making him the division’s top scorer.
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Akpom has also become the first player since Bernie Slaven 33 years ago to score 20 or more league goals in a season for the club.
He has now revealed that he knew things would get a lot better for him in the North East under Carrick after a talk with United winger Sancho – although he admits he never expected it to go this well.
He told Slaven’s Total BS podcast: “No [I wasn't concerned about Carrick's arrival], I was actually really excited because a good friend of mine is Jadon Sancho at Manchester United and he had nothing but good things to say about the manager.
“So I kind of knew already what to expect from the gaffer. But I didn’t know it’d go this well.”
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Former England international Carrick won the Premier League five times and the Champions League during his Old Trafford playing career.
He initially joined United’s coaching staff under Jose Mourinho.
He was then part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom team before then getting a brief taste of management himself after the Norwegian was axed in November 2021.
Newcastle-born Carrick had a three-game stint as caretaker, with Sancho part of the squad he took charge of.
He led United to two wins and then a draw against Chelsea but left after Ralf Rangnick’s arrival last season.
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