Arsene Wenger claims Benik Afobe’s transfer from Arsenal to Wolves is a ‘reward’ for the young striker following the good form he was able to demonstrate during his loan spells away from the Emirates Stadium.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that the Arsenal academy graduate would be leaving the club for Wolves on a permanent basis after an undisclosed fee was agreed, with Afobe signing a three-and-a-half year contract at Molineux.
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Afobe joined Arsenal aged seven but failed to register a senior appearance for the club, instead being sent out on loan to six different clubs in the past four years, the most recent of which was League One side MK Dons.
His previous five loans had seen the 21-year-old compile 13 goals in total, but his performances for the Dons far surpassed this, with Afobe having found the net on 19 occasions in 29 matches this season.
So prolific has Afobe been in the current campaign that he has moved up to the Championship with Wolves, and Wenger is confident the youngster will prove to be a hit for the club having been showing his worth of late.
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"Benik has made a name through his performances and he is now rewarded with a move to Wolves," Wenger told the official Arsenal website.
"I believe that it’s very interesting for him as well. He deserves it. We like him very much here and I’m happy that he got the chance."
As encouraging as Afobe’s form had been in recent months, it has been clear for some time that he had no long-term prospects as an Arsenal player.
The most obvious indication, of course, is the fact that he never once was afforded a senior competitive bow - not even in the Capital One Cup - while his path to the first-team is somewhat congested.
Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott et al provide competition for a starting striking place and, if Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo were moved on for extra game time, then there was only one outcome for Afobe.