Arsenal starlet makes return after eight-month layoff

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Arsenal striker Benik Afobe returned to action after eight months out with a knee injury last night, playing 90 minutes in a 4-2 win for the Under-21 side against Aston Villa.

Afobe lead the line in a match watched by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as he stepped up his competitive comeback from a knee ligament injury, which cut short his loan spell at Millwall towards the end of last season.

The 21-year-old helped Arsenal's academy stars secure a comfortable win over Villa's youngsters and will hope to claim the second goal, sending a strike on target that Spanish playmaker Jan Toral appeared to force over the line from close range.

Toral was originally awarded the goal which completed a brace for the former Barcelona teenager, on a night which also saw Emmanuel Frimpong and Serge Gnabry get on the scoresheet, just 24 hours after the German whizkid featured for the first team against Manchester United.

Wenger will have been impressed with Afobe's sharpness after a long spell on the sidelines as he bids to prove his worth in an Arsenal squad desperately short of centre-forwards, with Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner currently the only fit strikers at the Frenchman's disposal.

The England Under-21 international is likely to head back out on loan once he finds full fitness, after previously spending time at Huddersfield Town, Reading and Bolton Wanderers to aid his development.

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