Van Persie: Afobe has everything to become a great

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Last week Benik Afobe told the Arsenal website that Robin van Persie had taken him under his wing during his lengthy injury, advising him on motivation techniques and checking on his progress.

While on one level it appears we have a captain willing to do right by his squad, no matter their experience, on another it appears the motivation to help his young teammate is not just based on a sense of responsibility. Robin seems to truly rate Afobe as a footballer…really, really rate.

Speaking to the Arsenal official matchday programme ahead of Sunday’s tonking of the Spuds, the Dutchman spoke in glowing terms about Afobe’s potential having overcome his groin problem.

“I was delighted to see Benik Afobe back in the Reserves on Tuesday night, scoring against Norwich. Six months is a long time out at his age, especially when he did really well with the first team over pre-season making fast progress.

“He’s returned impressively though – I watched him in training ten days ago while I was doing my warm down and he looked really strong and quick, a proper English striker who holds the ball up well and works very hard.

“When you’re young you just want to be playing, improving your game and making your career, and he was denied that for a long time.”

At only 19-years-old, and with an impressive loan spell at Huddersfield Town under his belt, it wasn’t surprising to see Arsene Wenger hand the teenager a new contract in the summer. It now looks as though his next challenge is to break into the first team.

“To come back as he’s doing is tremendous – he’s a fantastic lad, a really good character to have in the squad and a player I genuinely rate, so I’m really proud of him,” continued Van Persie.

“He absolutely loves his football and treats it very seriously. That’s the main thing for a young footballer – if you really love the game like he does then you will make it, and he has everything to become a great player.”

Now don’t get us wrong, Arseblog News is not suggesting that a few warm words from the captain makes a player.

We’ve seen plenty of young attackers steal the headlines at youth and reserve level in the past, the likes of Stokes, Watt, Simpson and Lupoli all spring to mind, but none have gone on to make it.

That being said, you can’t help but stand up and take notice when someone of Van Persie’s stature uses his programme notes ahead of the biggest game of the season to talk up Afobe.

Let’s hope the lad can live up to his obvious potential. As it stands he’s only got to prove himself more useful than Chamakh and Park to bag himself a spot on the bench…can’t be too hard. Surely?

 

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bob's your uncle

hopefully another on the list of great up and coming players. people do forget that we have a pretty bloody good youth system at the moment. one of the many things Wenger will proudly leave us when he retires.

5-2

Would love it if he makes it. He’s a proper Gooner

Camilla

Love your username 🙂

IanWrightWrightWright

Afobe. Wilshere. Ox. Gibbs. Walcott. Frimpong. Jenkinson…..
The futures bright, the futures…….errr English?!
Been a while since we been able to say that. Up the gunners!!

DCGooner

Frimmy chose Ghana and Jenks played for Finland – that said they both could always switch back unless they are capped by the senior teams any time soon

Dick Swiveller

I think Jenkinson might, if given a chance but Frimpong seems pretty set on representing Ghana and, well…I’m not gonna suggest he does otherwise, don’t want to get Frimponged.

Fwiw, I think Afobe is one of the reasons Arshavin was let go, everything I see and hear tells me that he’s highly rated, including RvP’s fully laden encomiums; pacy, powerful and knowledge of the Arsenal way could be deadly.

master floda

@dick: isn’t afobe more of a central striker? the natural replacement for arshavin (if we sell him in summer) seems to be ryo

Dick Swiveller

More thinking about his place in the squad than eventual position atm floda, Afobe looked pretty comfortable out wide in pre-season (all 6 minutes or however long he played) and he’d be unlikely to do as badly as Arshavin usually did.

Cygan's Left Foot

Project youth 2 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Legolas

jenkinson is not english but i believe we have a lot of english players @ arsenal with good potential 🙂

Joe

Jenkinson is English. He was born here. His Dad’s English and Mother’s Finnish. I think he would probably think of himself as an Englishman.

paddymac

Looks as if he’s already ahead of Park in the pecking order!

Mayor of Boston

Sadly, my grandmother is probably ahead of Park in the pecking order.

Chordios

Sign her up, Wenger!

AMURICAH

is she french?

h

She is French, but older than 16 though.. tough luck bro..

AMURICAH

it doesn’t matter if she’s older than 16, has she had any major injuries?

Gary

Its good to see a group of young talented englishmen in and around the first team, it’s awesome to see the delight on the faces of the ox, Jenks and frimpong in that photo from Sunday , the future is bright

Midfield Corporal

Do you have a link to that photo Gary? Would like to see it. Thx

Camilla

I think the best part of that picture is Gervinho’s face xD

Michael Mills

The worst part being the totally uninterested looking gay guy to the left of Vic Akers.

Runcorn Gooner

The gay guy looks the Dalai Lama from Tibet

Trevor

This is un-Afobe related, but have there been any rumblings about Santos’ pending return? It’s been nearly 3 months.

bob's your uncle

I think he was last seen partying with adriano in sao paulo, spinning on his left ancle and busting moves.

Camilla

Are there chip shops in Sao Paulo?

bob's your uncle

adriano’s gonna know where they are. don’t worry about that=-D

Runcorn Gooner

Talking of returns anybody heard about Diaby.Must be time for another
one match spell soon.

Goonarmy

I love Robin so much. Top, top man he is.

iSayed

this is similar to what Cesc said about Wilshere and Ramsey before he left :/

I hope this is not a clue from Robin that he wont be around.

bob's your uncle

give over on the v persie speculation already…
we have a long summer to drive ourselves bonkos.. just enjoy greatness when its in you vacinety .. because it doesn’t happen so often in life…
apart from henry, dennis, tony ,cesc, wrighy, viera and v persie ofc =-D

bob's your uncle

wow we had some great players at our club.. unlike spurs,, who only ever had sol cambell…for a bit ^^

Runcorn Gooner

And Pat Jennings for a bit

Martin Keown is my hero

I share your concern. Not so much about RVP leaving……..but more about Afobe being one of our summer signings…..a la LANS.

“We do not need to sign anyone….we have Robin, Afobe, Chamakh, Niklas coming back….and Theo can play as a striker” (AW).

Jaysus I’m getting cynical……perhaps RVP is just saying what he believes? Of course he is, I’m only joking about being worried. Or am I? Who the fuck knows.

Cygan's Right Foot

Eventually though you do hope that your youth setup allows you the freedom of not having to constantly buy new players and play your own world class youngsters. Our youth team all seem to be around the same age now, so would intergrate easily with each other and the older first team players. When RvP retires (he’ll be here until the end), we should have a few 23/24 year olds with other younger players to take over and suddenly we don’t have to worry every summer about who is coming in and can just inject other world class internationals into… Read more »

Theoriginalmatt

RVP is proving to be an excellent captain..his words about Theo after the mighty spud tonking made me feel proud. So do these about Afobe. Good man. All good for team spirit. Up the Arsenal

Bunburyist

Spot on, Matt. Indeed, while this may not be saying much (given the competition), but I’d say Van Persie is the best captain we’ve had since Vieira’s departure, and perhaps even has some positive qualities that Vieira didn’t (open to debate).

I hope we can hold onto him.

Der Springer

RVP certainly is turning into as great a captain as he is a footballer. He may also have the personality, integrity, self-awareness — whatever you want to call it – to stick with Arsenal even if some other teams might be willing to dig deeper in their pockets. That is if our offer is not insulting to him.
Not sure how people feel about Steven Gerrard but I am thinking of him as an example of someone who stuck with his team when there were more lucrative offers elsewhere.

Goonerhaea

Wow, such encouraging words about Theo really! He is a great captain, and when he speaks everyone listens, because he always works and his performances speak for themselves. RVP, Need i say more!

Runcorn Gooner

Bob on.Without being disrespectful to Cesc I think RVP has a higher
profile when dealing with the media and more at ease.

Bendtners_ego

LANS!

Heard good things about him. Even Chamberlin rates him.

Davi

Sanchez Watt still has a chance to make it, but I don’t think he’s in Afobe’s league to be honest. I was saying recently, if he can recover well from his injury he might get some game-time before the end of the season. Maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but he really is good, and Wenger doesn’t seem too keen on Park for some reason.

Attasmani

I really hope that he makes it, you always have the feeling that players going through the academy will be real Gooners, although it unfortunately it doesn’t always mean you’re 100 % count-free.
PS: What was that north london power-shift thing again? Haven’t heard it too much since yesterday

Attasmani

*cunt-free

TeeCee

Sp*rs tried to use the north london power-shift thing on Sunday.
Unfortunately there was a nasty graunching noise and they ended up stuck in 1st gear, with the handbrake on and the engine stalled.

A local garage mechanic has said that the odds of it being utterly impossible to fix the problem are about 5-2……..

Shamroxxx

A little birdy told me Afobe is gonna be sold to Barcalona for Messi in exchange…

Ar5enal > 2purs

As long as Afobe becomes pivotal to Barcelona then forces a move back to Arsenal because he has Arsenal DNA…

allGUNSblazing

curiosity killed the cat,
negativity killed the gunner.
im so happy that all are talking so positively its happy happy all around.love it.hasnt been like this for quite a while.hope this lasts!!

gooner

” a proper English striker who holds
the ball up well and works very
hard”.
Did he just call him the new heskey?

Cygan's Right Foot

“I was delighted to see Benik Afobe back in the Reserves on Tuesday night, SCORING against Norwich” – Does this sound like Heskey?

abel

Park was signed bcos of afobe’s injury and it wz an opportunity to make a few million pounds from shirt sales in asia.4rm wot I see ryo might be as good as chambs only dat the latter came with a relatively high pricetag 4 his age

Midfield Corporal

Anyone else think there might be a Spud in with the home fans?

http://m.flickr.com/lightbox?id=6934693693

Runcorn Gooner

It’s Lee Morgan

Yankee Doodle Cheeseburger Munching C**t

Where is that tiny eyed, po-faced, sister kissing Scrote?!

Pigsinspace

Bloody nice to have good news and a great result under our belt… Let’s bloody keep it up

Goonerhaea

Y’all seen this Mike Dean 5PUR2 video… It’s hella funny

Runcorn Gooner

I would like to see it

Goonerhaea
Charlie

I am worried for Frimpong. Having such serious injuries to both kness at this young age may limit his potential. It opens up to more injuries in the future.
Afobe is class. Hopefully he does not have another of this long term injury to hinder his progress.
Youth development program is looking up. More and more young players will come thru’. Takes time and luck.

GoonerNugget

A cynical person might view RvP’s comments as if he’s saying “You’ll be okay without me. You have Afobe!”

Good thing none of us are cynical, right??

Cc

For me I think ozykayup + park do deserve some run in into the first team

Naija Gunner

If RVP says he’s gonna be a great player, I believe him!

The BearMan

RvP has also rated young Ryo very highly also. The captain has demonstrated time n again that he is a MaN with much integrity n character! I really believe he will finish his career at Arsenal.

But I also hope Wenger remove n add true quality to the squad. That includes Joel Campbell!

Cygan's Right Foot

Remove Joel or add him to the first team? Bit harsh removing him as he only joined in August, couldn’t get a work permit and so hasn’t played in England.

gumzy

Ryo,Afob,Ox,Gibbis,Thomas Asfled,fringpong,jank,jack,vela,Theo, don’t say dint tel u these young players will be the next new barca in arsenal…..

ramgooner

stop fucking comparing barca and us.they are useless diving cunts and last season wenger was so damn close to butt fucking that midget pep and his DNA children.
we are arsenal and we have players from all over the world backed up by a young generation of english talent and that really sums up the spirit of the team unlike barca who is their national team training ground.

Lord Teddy Ears

Ram I love your passion fella

master floda

i don’t think we will see vela again. he wants to leave and if we get a decent offer i’m pretty sure we will sell him. same goes for bendtner and arshavin.
but there are other youngsters out on loan that are worth mentioning: lansbury and chuks aneke f.ex. and then we have players loaned out that haven’t played for us yet like botelho and joel campbell…

TeeCee

You’ll know when we’re the new Barca.
It’ll be when we use every cheating, cuntish trick in the book to steal Messi off the old Barca in exchange for fourpence and an old bootlace.

Redrich

Robin really is the complete captain.

I love this guy – and you can just tell that he loves the club and his position in it.
A shining example to Afobe and any other injured player that if you stick with it you can go on to be an amazing player.

I just can’t see Robin leaving this team, he cares about Arsenal too much.

GoonerNugget

I heard a while back that his son calls him “Daddy Arsenal”.

Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Pedobear

Afobe’s too old for me

shockandawe

It could be an idea to put Afobe on the bench for the Milan game. If we havent scored by halftime then it becomes a dead rubber but we could bring Afobe on and he would earn great experience from it.

[…] considering he’s been saying it since last summer! He also had kind words to share about young striker Benik Afobe who has been out for a while. It’s worth remember that our talismanic Dutch striker, not only […]