Benik Afobe: The Low Down On Arsenal’s Next Big Thing
We look at the career so far of Arsenal youngster Benik Afobe and look at his time on loan with Huddersfield, the Gunners reserves and his international career
Before this season, not many Arsenal fans knew or had heard of Benik Afobe. But after his short debut against Cologne, and then his impressive game against Thierry Henry’s club, New York Red Bulls, everyone was mentioning him as the next ‘big thing’. And some could not wait to see the young U-20 international make his Premier League debut. But the 19 year-old has since had to wait for that big break with the Gunners, due to a groin injury on the 21st of September 2011.
If you have read my other blogs, you will know that I have always said this, “any player that loves Arsenal, I love”, and Afobe seemingly loves Arsenal, seeing as he has been coming through the ranks since the age of six. Here is an overview of his career so far:
Benik joined Huddersfield on loan on 2nd November 2010 and made a strong impression on Lee Clark, and went on to make 32 appearances in all competitions for the “Terriers”, scoring 5 goals in League One. Benik also gave 10 assists to his team mates, including 3 assists in one game against Notts County. The 19-year-old also picked up four man-of-the-match awards in a row.
According to the players Wikipedia page, former Huddersfield manager Lee Clark described Afobe as “another fantastic young player from the Arsenal production line”, after his debut in a 2-0 win over Sheffield United, on the night he joined the West Yorkshire club.
Despite having a successful season with Huddersfield, Benik failed to help the club gain promotion, as they lost 3-0 to Peterborough United in the League One Play-Off Final, but overall his loan was seen as a very positive one.
Benik Afobe started his England career at a very young age and captained the England Under-12s in a Junior World Cup in France in 2005.
In 2008, Afobe was part of the England Under-16 squad that won the Victory Shield and scored four goals in three games. He was announced as the ‘Player of the Tournament’ and equalled Michael Owen’s Under-16 record for goals in a tournament.
That wasn’t Afobe’s only taste of success for England, as he went on to win the Under-17 European Championships in May 2010. He was then called up to both the Under-19s and Under-20s for England and was going to play in the U-20s World Cup in Columbia, until Arsenal wanted him for their summer camp in Germany.
Afobe was called up for the England Under-21s to replace Danny Welbeck, but has not played for them yet because of his groin injury.
Afobe joined Arsenal Academy at the age of just six, after being spotted by a scout whilst playing for his Sunday team in Dagenham and scored 40 goals for the Under-16s in the 2007-2008 season.
He then scored 32 goals in 37 games in the next two seasons for the Under 18s. Afobe signed a professional contract in February 2010.
Personally, I can’t wait to see how well he does in the Premier League as I can see an Ian Wright in him. He is a great prospect, very loyal and extremely young…. Afobe has a bright future ahead of him.
Thanks to the guys over at o-posts.net for submitting this guest post
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