Arsenal fans should be delighted to hear the news that their young striker, Benik Afobe, is to spend a season-long loan at Bolton Wanderers.
Afobe follows in the footsteps of Jack Whilshere, in moving to the Reebok Stadium, and the clear benefits to Wilshere’s game can be expected to rub off on Afobe’s.
The 19-year-old has never played in the Arsenal first team, but he is likely to get his chance, next season, should this campaign go well at Bolton.
Under the guidance of Owen Coyle, Afobe will be given the chance to learn the game just as Whilshere did.
For when Wilshere – then 18 – joined Bolton on loan, his talent was evident but his game was not quite there.
Wilshere often looked lightweight in his first few outings at the Reebok, yet after a prolonged spell under Coyle, he developed into one of England’s best midfielders.
Gunners boss, Arsené Wenger, clearly sees Afobe’s path going the same direction.
The striker, who has already had loan spells at Reading and Huddersfield, could be what a future Arsenal squad needs to stage an attack on the Premier League title.
He is quick, strong and looks to play on the shoulder of the last man. He scored five goals when at Huddersfield, aiding the Yorkshire club in their promotion to the Championship, and it is clear he is good enough to hold his own in that division.
What Coyle will offer the youngster is an opportunity to develop not only his game, but also his strength.
Championship defenders are notoriously hard, and what they lack in ball control they easily make up for in single-minded determination.
Afobe will learn quick how to adjust to new surroundings and should evolve into a dominating striker before heading back to the Emirates.
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