Benik Afobe has finally found a path to the Premier League, five years after knocking on the door at Arsenal. As an 18-year-old he showed enough promise in the Emirates Cup to suggest Arsene Wenger had a top-flight striker in the making, but injuries slowed his progress.
Now, following a journey around League One and the Championship, Bournemouth have spent a club record fee to bring Afobe back into the elite.
For a cost of around £12million, Eddie Howe has secured a centre-forward who scored 23 goals in 48 games for Wolves but also, importantly, a personality who slots into his way of working.
Benik Afobe joined Bournemouth in a club record £12million deal from Championship side Wolves
Howe’s side is made up of talented players with points to prove, who have taken a circuitous route to the top. Hunger and hard work are fundamental elements in their overachievement to date.
Afobe’s attitude correlates. He has been eager to show his ability in the Premier League ever since it became apparent the opportunity would not arrive under Wenger, then at loan spells to varying degrees of success at Huddersfield, Reading, Bolton, Millwall, Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.
The Arsenal manager said some very nice things upon the announcement of Afobe’s move, and February 7 presents a date for him to illustrate them in person at Dean Court.