Defensive midfielder Hope Akpan has joined Bradford City on a free after his contract with relegated Burton Albion has expired.
Hope has joined up with the squad at our pre-season camp today 👊
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) July 4, 2018
The tough-tackling Everton graduate only played a handful of games for the Brewers in the 2017/18 campaign, which saw the men in yellow sadly depart from the hustle and bustle of the Sky Bet Championship. Akpan isn’t the Bantams first foray into the transfer market since the close of the season, becoming the ninth signing alongside others such as Sherwin Seedorf and Connor Wood, showing other promotion hungry clubs that they mean business as they hope to return to the Championship after 15 years out.
Akpan is expected to be no more than a squad player for the already midfield-heavy Bradford City but what he brings to the side is a defensive mindset and a level head, something key in the pressure cooker that is Sky Bet League One. His announcement on Bradford’s club website has caused something of a stir amongst Bradford supporters, as another former Premier League player and capped international joins their ranks.
Akpan had joined Premier League newcomers Reading in 2013 after standing out in League Two playing for Crawley Town, where he dominated the midfield with his physicality. He gained his first Nigerian cap in the same season and with that gained valuable experience. After spending no more than two years at one club, is it time for Akpan, 26, to settle down and build a career at Bradford?