Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has showered encomium on Chuba Akpom after making a scoring debut for his side in their 1-1 draw against QPR, stating the goal will relieve him of pressure.
The Nigerian centre-forward teamed up with Boro in September from Greek Super League side PAOK and has hit the ground running for his new club.
The 24-year-old was afforded his first appearance for Boro against Queen Park Rangers on Saturday and delivered an eye-catching performance.
The forward found the back of the net only 19 minutes into the encounter after he was set up by Patrick McNair.
Warnock is delighted with the fine start from the Nigerian forward and feels it will psychologically prepare him for life in the English second tier.
“What’s the perfect start for a striker? It’s getting a goal on your debut and he’s done exactly that,” Warnock said, as per Teesside Live.
“It’s important as a striker you’re seen to do your job and that is scoring goals. That has taken a lot of weight off his shoulders, psychologically whether he thinks about it or not.”
The draw means Middlesbrough are yet to taste victory in the Championship this season, after losing against Watford and drawing with Bournemouth.
Akpom will hope to continue his impressive performances when Boro take on Barnsley in their next league game on October 3.
The forward started his career with Premier League club Arsenal at the age of six and was promoted to the senior team in 2013.
Akpom only featured for the Gunners four times in the English top-flight as he spent most of his time on loan, featuring for Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Sint-Truiden.
He left the Emirates Stadium permanently in the summer of 2018 to team up with PAOK and impressed during his time with the club.
Akpom featured in more than 50 games for the Greek club, helping them to win the Super League and Cup titles.
The forward has played for England at youth level but has revealed his desire to switch his allegiance to the Nigeria national team.