Arsene Wenger’s big mistake by Lazyboy
Benik Afobe was a serial goal scorer at Arsenal’s youth level and while out on loan in League One. He was sold last January for a rumoured £2m to Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers where he continued his scoring prowess (13 goals in 21 apps). In selling Afobe Wenger has shown his hand. He is not willing to wait for a striker to develop enduring their peaks and troughs along their development cycle. He wants a proven 20+ goals a season striker right away. With highly sort after Paulo Dybala – a young, unproven at the highest level striker with great talent and potential remaining in Italy with Juventus, Wenger is now looking to buy a name we all would be familiar with, be it Benzema, Higuain, etc (at the right price of course) or make do with what he has moving Theo Walcott centrally.
But I am getting off topic…
In the near 19 years of Arsene Wenger and until May 2014 Liam Brady running the youth system at Arsenal I cannot remember them releasing/selling a youth team player that has gone on to be a world class or even top 4 team player. Can you?
The only ones I can think of note are solid mid table players such as Sebastian Larsson and Mark Noble.
I think Benik Afobe is one the club will regret. Other clubs especially Real Madrid and Barcelona put buy back clauses in their young prospects contracts when they are sold, think of Alvaro Morata (at Juventus) and Gerard Deulofeu (Everton). To my knowledge despite the wishful thinking of some there is not such buy back clause in Afobe’s contract at Wolves.
Other major English clubs have made big mistakes in letting world beaters go, Paul Pogba (Man United), Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea) and Nemanja Matić (Chelsea) having to be bought back at £21m after being part on the transfer to land David Luiz.
Is Benik Afobe our big mistake?
In this mans opinion Yes.