Battling from the front, he formed dangerous partnerships with David Omilabu and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, his strength holding up the ball and playing with his back to goal complemented by the technical ability to bring others into play.
Akinwale began his career as a winger, predominantly on the left-hand side, but made the switch to centre-forward at youth level – mirroring the switch made by his footballing idol, Cristiano Ronaldo. He has revealed that he has sought advice from Palace’s own Jordan Ayew throughout his development.
His nine goals in 2020/21 were crucial in Palace’s breakthrough debut season at Category 1 level, including an early winner at Chelsea that set the precedent for their season. His performances were recognised by Shaun Derry, who rewarded Akinwale with minutes at Under-23s level.