Afobe makes flying start on mission to prove his class
In a team filled with players discarded by Premier League clubs Benik Afobe is in perfect company. Sold by Arsenal, he is on a mission to prove it was a mistake. Plenty of clubs looked at Afobe as he thrived at Wolverhampton Wanderers but only Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was convinced.
At a club-record £10 million fee, Afobe was not cheap, but like so many other victims of the Premier League import explosion, the 22-year-old Londoner believes he just needed a chance. Two goals in three games including this brilliant diving header suggest he has nothing to fear. Two of three top scorers in the division, Jamie Vardy and Odion Ighalo, have risen from the lower leagues. Afobe says they are his role models.
“I want to make my mark at this club, but there’s a long, long way to go before you can bracket me with the top centre-forwards,” he said. “I look at Ighalo and Vardy. They’ve scored goals in the Championship like me and made their mark at the highest level. I’m young, I’m English and I believe I have the tools to be a top player.”
Howe has built a team with players with a point to prove and this was another impressive display in a high-pressure game.
Sunderland have far bigger names on their payroll but they are struggling to avoid relegation and were relieved to win a point here.
Manager Sam Allardyce is working frantically to sign more players before the transfer window ends. “We have to try and find better players, of the right quality, who can help us escape,” he said.