By Nick Teale
 
Benik Afobe hit the 20-goal mark in the Premier Academy League last season and many of those goals will have been assisted by Chuks Aneke.
 
Afobe credited the midfielder with helping him achieve an impressive goal tally last term and says the pair's understanding comes naturally after a decade of playing in the same team.
 
"We've been playing together since we were seven," Afobe told Arsenal.com.
 
"Sometimes he doesn't need to say anything, I just know he's going to give it to me or I'll give it to him. It's something that happens naturally, I really enjoying playing with Chuks.
 
"Off the field we get on well and our families know each other too."
 
Afobe's stand-out moment from last season came at Emirates Stadium when he netted a hat-trick to help Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 5-3 in the Premier Academy League Final.

When he spoke to Arsenal.com after the game he was holding the match ball, which had been signed by his victorious team-mates. When we caught up with him recently, he explained what happened to that memento.

"I gave it to my Mum," he said. "It was her birthday that day, so it was my present to her!
 
"But that is in the past now. In the summer I was thinking about it and I was really happy with my contribution, and us winning the League. But now I am looking forward to the new season.
 
"I'm stronger and quicker than last season and over the summer I worked on things such as holding up the ball under pressure, finishing with both feet and my head, and linking up with the midfielders.
 
"This season should be a good season as it's a big one [for me]."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Aug 2010