Benik Afobe has ended his time with Arsenal and begun a new chapter of his career with Wolves.
The 21-year-old, who was with Arsenal since he was six years old but had failed to make the step-up to the Arsenal first team after a series of serious injuries, is hoping to help his new side get back to the Premier League as soon as possible.
Out on loan this season with MK Dons, Afobe joins Wolves on a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee. With his Arsenal contract expiring in the summer this window represented the last chance for Arsenal to get a fee for the youngster.
Arsenal.com issued their standard ‘we wish him well’ article on their site announcing his departure.
Wolves, however, had three pieces up on site about the forward not long after he joined.
In their official announcement, manager Kenny Jackett said
“Having now met Benik he seems like a really outstanding young man and is the right sort of person for us.
“And of course also the right player, who I think is going to fit very well into our system.
“He is very pacey and powerful, good technically, and has an outstanding goalscoring record.
“He is young and fits the sort of profile we are going for and we are really excited about him signing.
“I am sure he is going to work really hard for us and be a success here in helping us get to where we want to be.”
“It feels fantastic. It’s been a long process with the medical, I’ve never had to do a medical before but that’s all done now, hopefully I can start training on Thursday and get ready for the game on Saturday.
“The facilities here are fantastic. You can see that it’s a club that deserves to be in the Premier League.
“It’s just about getting there and hopefully we can do that.
“I just want to say that I’m happy to become a Wolves player and I can’t wait to get going.”
Jackett then spoke about Afobe’s Arsenal career, adding
“Benik has been at Arsenal since he was six which is a long time at a very good club.
“So he’s had a good upbringing where he’s well thought of and well rated and they’ve always been very keen to progress him.
“I’m sure they’ll be pleased now he gets his opportunity at a good club like Wolves.
“We were keen to make him feel wanted and make him the best he can possibly be and try to bring out his full potential, which is considerable, both in terms of his play, his power and his goalscoring.
“He gets chances and converts a good percentage of them.
“He’s over his injury now – it’s been a year since his cruciate – he’s had spells at Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons and I feel he’s built up his confidence, built up his fitness and looks ready for someone to give him a permanent home and the backing that can bring out the best in him.
“I took him briefly to Millwall but he was a very young lad then and it was a few years ago.
“But he has the pace and the power for the division, he’s got a very good goalscoring record as well, and, after a number of loans, he’s ready now for a permanent home.
“He’s got a good base of experience behind him to start with us, but we also feel giving him a permanent home can really bring out the best in him and at 21 it’s an exciting future.”
“Our group of 20 players is quite young for us which is really good and I also feel although we’re quite young, we’re capable now,” says Jackett.
“We’re not talking about doing it in two or three years’ time – it’s a young group that as well as having the potential for the future, I think the players have good hunger, and hunger to do well now in the Championship.
“So it’s important we make that statement and get that balance.
“We’re not saying these players aren’t ready – we’re working hard towards bringing in young players, developing them and improving them so we can be successful – that’s the reason we’re bringing them in.
“I’d say with Benik he’s more of a number nine but he can also drop deep and link the play because he’s technically good.
“But I’d say his strength is as a ‘nine’.
“I hope he fits in and can dovetail with all of the players.”
We wish Benik all the best for the future and hopes he can now fulfil his massive potential.