Thursday, July 18, 2024

Afobe set for permanent departure

Benik Afobe is reportedly set to leave Arsenal on a permanent basis without having made a single competitive appearance for the first-team.

The striker has been in scintillating form on loan at MK Dons this season, scoring 19 goals in 30 appearances, but is now in talks with an unnamed club over a transfer.

A player who showed tremendous promise as a schoolboy, he helped Arsenal U18s to win the Premier Academy League twice in succession, as well as featuring in the FA Youth Cup success of 2009.

However, Afobe has found it extremely difficult to break into the first-team picture at Arsenal. He has often featured for the senior team in pre-season fixtures but has been sent out on loan on six occasions and has also endured terrible luck with injuries.

With the likes of Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Yaya Sanogo well ahead of him in the pecking order at the club, Afobe appears to have come to the conclusion that his chances of making any sort of breakthrough next season are extremely limited, despite his stellar start to the campaign with MK Dons.

The England U21 international has long been tipped as a future star, but now it seems that he will have to work his way up from the Championship if he is to live up to that billing. Afobe extended his contract with Arsenal by a further year before joining MK Dons on loan, but, despite that, he had no realistic chance of making the breakthrough.

Afobe has always been a clinical goalscorer, but many of his various loan stints ended without much success. His hardworking nature and determination to succeed helped him through his injury troubles, but, like Chuks Aneke, who starred in League One last season, it seemed as if he was fighting a losing battle with regards to his Arsenal future regardless of the quality and consistency of his performances this campaign.

It was hoped that at least one of the trio of Afobe, Aneke and Nico Yennaris, who emerged through the ranks together at the club, would become an important player for Arsenal. As it has worked out, none of them managed to make the grade but they are all set for established careers in the game, just not quite at as high a level as was initially anticipated.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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Afobe, Henderson, Watt, Jay Emmanuel Thomas… Just not good enough for the Premier League.

Good luck in your journey


Afobe could surely end up in the PL at some stage of his career, the talent is surely there


Question is, is he willing to wait for another 1 or 2 years to get his chance? Most young players aren’t… also are Arsenal ready to wait?


Well it’s hard to say, they were never really given the chance.


injury prone? check
french? nope

wrong time wrong club(manager) mate

Double, Double, Double....

Such a shame, great talent and I wish him good luck on his next journey!


The guy scores for fun! Another “what if” story…if not for injuries…I’m sad but not worried for him, he’s still got a natural talent for goal getting as his blistering record for the dons testifies so chances are we will see him back in the league haunting us in no time at all. Good luck benik!

Jamaican Gooner

Wow… This is not even fair man


I feel the same way… I can’t see why we’ve given Sanogo so much time ahead of this guy. Yeah, Benik has a history of injuries, but so does Sanogo ffs. And Benik is clearly more talented.


Not sure I’d agree with your assertion that Afobe is clearly more talented than Sanogo. The latter was brilliant for France U20 and I think he’d be a storming player in the lower leagues.

That said, I thought Afobe would make it here eventually, but I guess his injuries just stunted his development too much for him to break through. He’ll have a good career elsewhere, I’m sure.


I was hoping both Afobe and Sonogo would come good, and both still may. However, what evidence do you have that Afobe is clearly more talented than Sonogo? How many times have you watched Afobe play and how many times have you watched Sonogo play? Against what level of competition? Sonogo has played against some of Europe’s best and gave them big problems, although couldn’t quite find the net. In his other teams he scored bags of goals and once he starts doing that in the Prem I would bet he will make a habit of it. This seems to… Read more »


Sanogo was bossing French league 2 at 19, and was a France u21 star. You think, especially with his physical attributes, he wouldn’t boss League 1 in the UK?

Hank Scorpio

He scored 11 in 21 games. Hardly bossing


A goal every other game isn’t bossing it? What? You want Ronaldo-like stats? Get real.


given Sanogo so much time you say

2 league starts in his time here. none at all last season

he has 3 CL starts, 1 last season and 2 this

so in the two big competitions he has 5 starts in a season and a half. and he got 3 FA Cup starts last season


I’ve seen afobe play in friendlies, a fee reserve games, and a few mk dons games…full games, not highlights. His touch, dribbling, ball retention are far superior to Yaya’s. He reminds me of Anelka actually. Yaya is probably more powerful, and puts himself about a bit more.

I like Yaya, he gives his all, which is all you can ask for from players like him. But ability wise (and seemingly injury wise atm) I would give afobe a chance.


No way at all, you’re wrong.
And I say that knowing Afobe’s family personally, so no bias hee

Black Hei

We must be watching different friendly games then. Never watched him apart from the friendlies though.


I don’t know about Afobe being clearly more talented than Sanogo, but I wonder why even have an academy system when the gap between Afobe, Akpom, etc and Sanogo isn’t that big. Actually, it just goes to show how good the likes of Wilshere and Gibbs are, to have survived that process. Fingers crossed for Hayden and Jenkinson!


Might be one we regret here. Better than TGSTEL at least attitudewise.


Real shame, but when you look at who’s ahead of him, he was never going to be our number one striker. Best wishes to him for his career.


Hopefully he continues to stay injury free and improve. We wish him well at his new club.
You really need to be an exceptional player and have the best of luck to make it at the top level.


And we let Harry Kane go, who played in the same youth side as Nico and Afobe. Remember when our youth team used to be genuinely exciting?


While one can argue Beniks future with us was cut short.
Noone can claim that the “Second coming of sheringham” Harry Kane is Arsenal Quality.

Good luck Benik hope to see you in the Premiership soon .Even if that means we have to see the Prick sorry I mean se Mick!!

Also time for Chuba to Sign Dat Ting!!


Remember when we used to have top talents such as Zelalem, Crowley, Bellerin, Gnabry, Hayden, Maitland-Niles, Akpom and Willock? Those were the days!


Enough already GET SOME IN.


Why the fuck did we get Sanogo when we have this guy?
What a waste….good luck to him!


sanogo is 21, afobe is almost 24…I wonder which has more potential?

Andy Mack

Sanogo is about 1 week older than Benik. They’re both born in early 1993.

Tapscotts Testicles

What is it with Arsenal and letting players with massive potential and letting them go without a chance to prove themselves? Does anyone think this lad is not better than Sanogo, who has had dozens of chances? For older fans like me, this is like letting Andy Cole go all over again. Mark my words this boy will ALWAYS score goals, wherever he plays. We will regret this, big time


so tap who of these players with massive potential has proven our decision to let them go wrong,


Yeah, it’s not as if we let Fabregas go at age 16.

The truth is that, due to premier league age restrictions that cause most youth teams to be locally based, the chance of any of those locally based boys making it into the first team at a top 4 club is very, very low. Academies will produce a lot of players who go on to have careers somewhere, but very few players who will go on to have careers at top clubs. Because there just arn’t many of those players period.

Tapscotts Testicles

Its late, my mind is fuzzy but try Andy Cole, Seb Larssen, Antony Stokes, Dwight Gayle, Leon Brittan, all youth players who have left us to go to other clubs who still have the quality to play for us. There are bound to be more, my tired mind just wont work. All these play or did play first class football, Gayle scored again today against the scum. Stokes has scored dozens of goals for Celtic, still does. Andy cole is one of the top premiership scorers of all time. Larssen is better at free kicks than any player playing for… Read more »


except for andy cole(henry and rvp were better), the rest aren’t even good enough to make our bench.

Cyril Washbrook

This has to be a wind-up. They say hindsight is 20-20, but I think even your hindsight needs a new prescription. Seriously: “Larssen [sic]”? Stokes? Gayle? “Brittan [sic]”? Maybe they’ve had decent careers at low- to mid-level clubs, but are these seriously the “massive” world-beating players we should regret releasing?

This must be coming out of the same hive mind that was urging Wenger to sign awesome, world-class talent like Chris Samba, Scott Dann and Junior Hoilett in recent years.

Tapscotts Testicles

Hang on.. I never even mentioned massive world beating players did I? Did I ever say anything approaching that? All I said was we let premiership class pkayers go after three, four sometimes 5 years of effort in the hope of turning out players who COULD turn out to be real assets to the club without so much as playing them. If you’re happy to see the likes of Afobe leave, you’re either ignorant of the talent the boy undoubtedly has or you want us to get the cheque book out every time like Chelsea do and never see a… Read more »

Andy Mack

Strong rumours at the time suggested that Andy Cole was moved on as he brought more Pharma products into the changing room than the medical staff!
The others mentioned would have played so little that they’d have quickly left of their own accord.

Black Hei

Dude we are talking about 3rd tier football in England; Sanogo has even better stats in 2nd tier football in France. And that was with even longer term injuries.

George Jetson

I’m starting to wonder if an academy is worth funding at this point. Even Wilshere is well behind bought midfielders. Seems a better idea to just but 22 year olds if one in a thousand will get in the side.

Andy Mack

It rather funds itself. The money it saved us on buying Gibbs and Jack would pay for it for a few years plus we have been known to sell the odd player from there.


plus I think you get players that care more about the team when they come through the Academy.


Rumour has it the unnamed club is Wolves.


real shame nice kid has done the buisness has pace technique awareness knows were the goal is yet we get sonogo who compared to afobe is like bamby on ice, still timing again we dont need an offensive player, maybe we should just open up a defensive academy, this probably has a knock on effect for others at AFC who know they will never get first team football unless we find another Messi Or Ronaldo PFFFttttttt

G Thorpe

Yet Sanogoals remains…quite ridiculous really…surely this guy DESERVES a chance…


how would any of you react we if Afobe was not our player and we were signing him this window, he is 22 next month, and at the highest level of football he has played – Championship – he has 4 goals in 40 games, and he has 10 goals in 20 league one games this season, most of you would be in melt down mode if we were signing him.

Toure Motors

Valid point!


Imo Giroud, Welbeck and Sanogo are not good enough for the top club level either. But Afobe atleast show potential of becoming good enough. But we dont need another injury prone player, so make sense to let him go anyway.

Cyril Washbrook

Afobe is a decent player, and I hope he goes on to have a good career. But the mythologising about letting go the next big thing and how much better he is than Sanogo is a bit silly when you look at his career. Consider the following: (1) He spent all or part of the previous three seasons in the Championship, scoring four goals in 40 games. Sure, nobody expected him to tot up TH14-like tallies, but that is not the goalscoring record of somebody knocking on the door for a first-team place in the Premier League. (2) After three… Read more »


I would agree with all of that Cyril, also if Afobe is so much better why are Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Hull not chasing his signature and instead going after Sanogo

Randy Pan the Arsenal Fan

Exactamundo Raymond!

Tapscotts Testicles

Again, you miss the point I made….HE IS NOT BEING GIVEN THE CHANCE IN RED AND WHITE. Its all I said. Sanogo was only mentiobed simply because he IS being given the chance, but even he is being shipped out on loan after losing Podolski too.. I dont appreciate you roping me into claims of a “hive mindset” or attributing criticism based on things I never said. Don’t pigeon hole my thoughts on Arsenal based on one simple comment on the disaapointment of seeing one very promising player leave. He’s not the first, wont be the last, I know that.… Read more »


I’d argue that Afobe is not a “very promising player” at all. He was just that five years ago, but he didn’t manage to live up to his potential, and now he’s soon to be 22 and still at League 1 level. He will probably go on to be a more than decent Championship player like Henri Lansbury, but I doubt he will even reach Premier League standard at this rate.


The people moaning about us letting Afobe go are probably the same who were outraged when Kris Olsson left a few weeks ago. These are two players who are fairly talented, but nowhere near Premier League standard, and most likely will never be. I don’t get why people need to complain about literally everything. Sure, Wenger has his flaws, but knowing how to deal with young players is not one of them. I’d trust his judgement on this every day of the week.


For me part of the issue with the younger players not getting proper levels of exposure to the premiership (and proving if they have what it takes) is the fact that Wenger is not really a squad manger. As in he rarely considers using beyond a small core (his hand is forced by injuries to his regular players but given the choice I don’t think he would use more than 16-18 players in a season). Personally I think the better managers make use of the full squad and make a more considered decision about team selection based on the opposition… Read more »

Andy Mack

AW is the guy that used the TinPot Cup as youth/squad training when others use it for their 1st team and you seem to think that means he doesn’t use the squad. I’m pretty certain we’ve used more players this season than most other managers and the real problem at the moment is we can’t get 11/14 regulars to start playing like a team.

On the plus side, you’re clearly not referring to any other managed in the PL when you say ‘the better managers’.


Andy Mack… Arsene Wengers biggest fanboy right here. So you are basically saying that there are no other managers in the PL that are better at managing a team than Arsene Wenger? Let me laugh out loud for a while. Let me think of 3 of them that are way ahead of Arsene Wenger in terms of performance: Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini, Louis van Gaal. Arsene Wenger was the best manager but that was in 2004, not in modern time. He does clearly not know how to build a team and he rarely rotate his squad. He does not know… Read more »

Andy Mack

No I didn’t say that. Again you’re letting your hatred of AW get in the way of what was actually said/written. The point is that he’s used more players this season than the managers above us (especially the managers you mention). It’s been because of injury but that doesn’t justify the comment that was just being made to justify why AW isn’t picking the team dg01 wants!.



Who are these better managers you speak of? Chelsea is the team who have fielded the least amount of players in the league this season. Still, most people would say that, despite being the mother of all cunts, Mourinho is a pretty good manager.


And why is he the mother of all cunts? Just because he has criticized wenger? get out xD He simply said what most people are thinking when they see our ‘great’ manager.


“Just because he criticized Wenger”? No, not just because of that.

Black Hei

I think it is the other way round. You are defending JM because he criticised Wenger. If your hate for Wenger blinds you to that extent, you have some serious issues.

Black Hei

Guys look, we haven’t seen much of Afobe but from we have seen in friendlies, his touch is a too heavy for Arsenal.

I don’t think he is not EPL material, but he needs to go onto the right team. A more direct team will suit his talents.

Andy Mack

They’re both 21. Afobe was awesome as a youth but is only now making the real ‘jump’ to senior level. In a year or 2 he could (could!!!) become a top PL player. At the moment Sanogo has made the ‘jump’ to senior level already but still isn’t the finished article either.
They could both become world class or both stay exactly where they are now.
I’d prefer to keep both of them on our books along with Akpom but they all need playing time and they’ll all move on if they don’t get it.


To all those who think Afobe is better than Sanago. The highest level the former could be loaned out to was Bolton in the championship. The latter is wanted by Ligue 1 club Bordeaux plus PL clubs Crystal Palace and Hull City. Seems the rest of the footballing world agrees with Arsene….


Has anyone seen the amount we are getting? I imagine it’s pretty small (a million or two max).

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