Is Afobe the forgotten man? by Ash
Benik Afobe was once upon a time the next big thing for Arsenal, but in recent years he has been nothing more than a mediocre reserve team player. Largely because of injuries, Afobe has gone from being one of Arsenal’s best up and coming talents, to an injury prone 20 year old striker who has failed to develop from his first instances.
Afobe is a young English striker who joined Arsenal when he was just 6 years old. While making his way through the Arsenal youth teams and academy, the anticipation surrounding this developed powerhouse of a player was high and the expectations on his shoulders were big. However he has failed to really impress on any of his chances within the Arsenal first team and with the player growing ever older, I fear that there are no major improvements, and his time may be soon coming to an end with Arsenal.
The 20 year old has had loan spells with Huddersfield, Reading, Bolton and Millwall, and has managed to score just 7 league goals during the course of three years of being a professional. Now although I must admit 7 goals for a player who is of course still very young and inexperienced, not to mention the fact he’s spent about a year on the sidelines, is actually an okay amount, however the fact he isn’t progressing at these clubs suggests that his chance with Arsenal may never come.
The reasoning behind why he has popped up in the news once again is because he scored a skillful dribbled goal against Norwich for the Arsenal reserves and the goal was of such high quality (and arguably luck) that questions about his capabilities were once again raised.
The outlook from my point of view is a very mixed one. On one hand there is no doubting that he holds talent and I think a little bit more experience as well as coaching from Arsenal will unlock that talent. However, on the other hand, the fact he is already gathering persistent injury problems at such a young age means that he isn’t progressing like he should, and as he becomes older the chance to develop from the start will soon be gone for Afobe. This will mean he will be one step behind the other professionals right from the start and with the likes of Sanogo and even arguably Akpom ahead of him, I struggle to see where and when Afobe will get another chance in Arsene Wenger’s team.
Is this season the young striker’s last chance to impress the Arsenal boss and force his way into first team contention?