Afobe targets full season

Arsenal and England Under-21s striker Benik Afobe is hoping a full season on loan can help to rejuvenate his career.

The 21-year-old was last capped by the Three Lions in February 2013 when he featured for the Under-21s against Sweden at Walsall in a 4-0 win.

A series of injuries since then have restricted his progress both on the club and international front and he spent the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.

Benik Afobe

Afobe scored his only Under-21s goal against Northern Ireland in November 2012

But he’s now had the benefit of a full pre-season behind him at Arsenal this summer and wants to make sure he can continue that momentum with another temporary switch away from the Emirates Stadium.

“For the first couple of weeks [of pre-season] I was with the first team and it has been going well,” explained Afobe. 

“Now I’m looking to go out on loan. I want to play week-in, week-out and have a first full season without injuries.

“Hopefully something will be done soon but, if not, I will keep working hard and keep training with the U21s or the first team.”

Afobe was a regular goalscorer for the Three Lions at U16 and U17s level, helping to fire John Peacock’s Young Lions to the Euro Championship title in 2010 and was also prolific with Arsenal’s junior teams.

And he’s already had a variety of experience on loan with the likes of Huddersfield Town, Reading, Bolton Wanderers and Millwall before his spell at Hillsborough last term.

“I’ve gone out on loan and I’ve had experience of playing first-team football,” he told Arsenal.com 

“Playing on Saturday and Tuesdays is the best feeling ever. I want to play week-in, week-out and have a first full season without injuries – that’s the plan. 

“I’ve had a couple of injuries and I’ve missed two seasons of football. I’m only 21, and in footballing terms I’m still 19.

“I want to go out on loan and play 40 injury-free games and improve as a player because, at the age of 21, you’re always getting better.

“I just to play want a full season.”