Arsenal allow Benik Afobe to continue his development at Bolton

Jamie Sanderson August 1, 2012 News 20 Comments

Arsène Wenger has once again entrusted Owen Coyle with the development of one of his top prospects, after allowing Benik Afobe to move to Bolton on loan.

Arsenal have accepted loan offers from both Millwall and Bolton for the 19-year-old, and Afobe has opted to move to the latter, after Wenger gave the switch his blessing earlier this week.

Afobe, who has also spent time on-loan with Huddersfield Town and then Reading, had been promised a fringe role in Wenger’s first-team setup next season, but will snub that opportunity to ramp up his development under Coyle’s tutelage.

A powerful, strong and hard working striker, Afobe has been chased by a number of clubs ranging from the lower half of the Premier League, to his former hunting ground of League One, but he will move to Bolton after they gave him guarantees over playing time.

It’s a smart decision from a kid who is clearly switched on, and proactive in his own personal development. Afobe follows close friends Jack Wilshere and more recently Ryo Miyaichi, in sparkling at one of the best finishing schools in England – the Bolton first-team.

The details are expected to be made public before the weekend.



    Afobe remind’s me of a young Kevin Campbell, although Afobe Is more technical and mobile than the aforementioned former Gooner.

  • good move, coyle will love him. good luck benik.

  • go and do wonders kid

  • is it possible to loan 2 players from our club to bolton…
    it would be good if we could loan ryo as well to bolton…

    • Chris - BWFC

      We will look after Benik, but Ryo’s position is well catered for at Bolton. We do,however, still need extra bodies in central defence and defensive midfield (a sitter).What have you got?

    • JohnnyMaverik

      I guess for DC Miquel but he might be more interested in sticking around for league cup opportunities as well waiting to pounce on any opportunities that come as a result of injuries and the like. Also Boateng but he lacks experience and probably isn’t the right player yet for a championship promotion push, and Bartley but I doubt he’d be too impressed with a loan move to the Championship after having spent 2 seasons at Rangers, likely wants to push for first team opportunities.

      For DMC there’s Yennaris who could do with a run of first team experience and has shown he can perform at a high level already, so he’s the obvious one. Then I guess Eastmond but again, at that stage now where he probably wants to stay and fight for a place, then perhaps Aneke but he likes to operate a little further up the pitch in more of a Pirlo type role, so whilst he’s big, strong and can put in a tackle, it’s not really his natural position in terms of playing mentality, also lacks experience at that level.

    • ebecillio (sp)? highly rated by wenger.

  • I think this is the best for his development. And then Owen Coyle knows how to nurture talent, Arsenal players being not the only players to have benefited from that. I think when Benik will return he will be strong contender for the first team, provided he doesn’t get injured.

  • Jamie, has there been any developments on Niang that you know of?

  • Thanks arsenal. He will undoubtedly be a good player by the time Coyle has finished with him. Thanks Mr Wenger for helping us AGAIN

  • I think this is the best decision.Afobe will be a world class forward in the future because Bolton is the best place for the development of rising youngstars. I think Ramsey and miquel should be loaned too.

    • ramsey’s done his time on loan, he’s an arsenal player now and he should remain one.

  • american gooner

    I like how you link to your own tweet as a source. Not disputing it, but it’s just funny.

  • send Aneke also to Bolton .Let them have a good rapo

  • JohnnyMaverik

    Probably a good thing. Would have liked to see him in the league cup but pre-season has showed that occasional appearances aren’t going to do him much good, he needs regular matches and to find a good run of form at a competitive level. Really hope he gets back on track because he’s such a talented player when he’s on form.

  • Great News for Afobe. He will continue his excellent development with Coyle and Bolton. By this time next year he will be ready to back up the first choice strikers in the first team.

    Afobe, Eisfeld, Miquel, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ryo, Ox, Aneke, Szczesny, Campbell, Coquelin and Frimpong. 12 youngsters with very bright futures at the club.

    Unfortunately, this group will make life very difficult for the likes of Watt, Bartley, Eastmond, Lansbury, and maybe even Henderson.

    I know you will look at the list of also-rans and think “they’re all English. Well there are a few English kids on the ‘A-list’ too. But the reality is that English football, is still stuck in this Bipolar reality of wanting to expand into teaching ‘skill and technique’ to compete with the best footballing nations in the world and stubbornly holding onto the ‘gritty, fight, kick, and run’ comedy that wins nothing in international football.

    English youngsters are getting better technically, but it’s a very competitive world and they’re still not at the highest level.

    • I think the best option for many of these players who reach 20-23 and aren’t able to make our squad is to sell off with a high sell on clause, like the Bentley deal. Watt I feel is nowhere near Premiership standard, even for a bottom team, my friends in Scotland were pretty disappointed with Bartley this time around (maybe because he got injured a lot, maybe because his attitude was bad, or maybe just because they have gone bust and want some people to blame!), Eastmond has failed to perform at a lower level, and Landsbury sadly couldn’t make the Westham first xi (though that could be the Big Sam effect!), where Henderson has spent too much time in ther treatment room to develop into the initial potential. I think most of these players will join the likes of JET and more recently Hoyte out of the club.

  • Afobe turns 20 this campaign, a big big chance for him to shine in the Championship. Best of luck to him. I think we will have more players than ever before loaned out this season. I would love to have a bunch at Premiership clubs. Anyone know what the likely destination will be for Campbell and Wellington this season?

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