Signing strikers will not be the major expectation of most Arsenal fans going into the winter transfer window, and it does appear that we may not exercise our option on one of our hotshots out there, with 21-year old striker, Benik Afobe, set to see out his loan deal till May.
Afobe has been in spectacular form for the Dons since making the temporary switch to the League two outfit in August, banging a stupendous 18 goals in just 25 appearances. Such has been his form that there have been suggestions as to a possible recall of the player to the Emirates in January. Wenger, however, does not appear to be interested in taking that option, at least according to the remarks made by Afobe’s current coach at the Stadium MK, Karl Robinson.
“We’ve had contact with Brentford and Arsenal to let them know how they’re getting on” Robisnon said, speaking of Afobe and his current strike partner, Will Grigg who is also on-loan at MK from Brentford.
“But we haven’t heard anything else from them and as far as we’re aware, they’ll be MK Dons players until May.”
The Dons have hugely benefitted from Afobe’s goal-scoring heroics this season, sitting comfortably in third place on the log, having also had amazing results in the FA Cup and League Cup, not least the thumping of Manchester United in which Afobe scored a brace. With injuries to a host of Arsenal players threatening to crowd the treatment room while leaving gaping holes on the pitch, the possibility of recalling the youngster in January had been in near-green, especially given he could still have a good chance to play in the FA Cup which Wenger has always used for the fringe players.
A host of those fringe players were given a run out in the last group game of the Champions League, and where Wenger did not have three of his main strikers in Giroud, Welbeck and Alexis, Sanogo Podolski and Joel Campbell still gave good accounts of themselves in the game. The attack is the one place where there has been real competition for places in the Arsenal team and with Poldi and Campbell even agitating for more time, it would be to the detriment of both player and squad to choose to recall Afobe.
Wenger has good reasons to not want Afobe back at the moment as it could prove counter-productive to his development. He has certainly gained a lot more attention that he had even after eclipsing Michael Owen’s record at England Under-17 level. A strong powerful center-forward, Afobe should go on have an even better season with the Dons.
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