Having completed a permanent move to Wolverhampton Wanderers this week, former Arsenal prospect Benik Afobe has told the Express and Star how long-time friend Jack Wilshere has been a huge influence on his career thus far.
Afobe, 21, was on the Gunners’ book from the age of six before arriving at Molineux on a three-year contract, having endured various injury problems over recent seasons which slowed his development.
After five previous loan spells, the promising striker joined MK Dons on a season-long deal in August, where a healthy run of form saw him hit an impressive 19 goals in 30 total appearances, including a brace in the shock 4-0 Capital One Cup win over Manchester United.
Now hoping to set the Championship alight, Afobe has revealed how Wilshere was often a source of inspiration during their time in the treatment room together at the Emirates, and is looking to re-join his now-ex-teammate in the Premier League with Wolves soon.
“They were all very good to me at Arsenal all of the staff, and I’m quite close to the players there,” he said. “But, because he’s my best friend, I’d probably say Jack Wilshere has helped me a lot in particular.
“We were both injured at the same time, we used to rehab at the same time, and we’ve been playing together since we were eight or nine years old.
“He lives barely a minute way from my house in Cockfosters, in London. I see him a lot and [since joining Wolves] he’s urged me to prove a point and show people what I can do.
“I believe Wolves is a great club and should be a Premier League club. Hopefully I can get there with Wolves.”
Afobe’s previous loan spells with Reading, Bolton Wanderers, Milwall and Sheffield Wednesday, respectively, all came at the Championship level, although the England Under-21 international only managed a combined four goals in 40 appearances.
Nevertheless, he has proved in the League 1 this season that he has the talent to succeed at a higher level, and should show that over the coming months as Kenny Jackett’s side bid to make a promotion push.