By Giuseppe Muro
Benik Afobe says his temporary loan switch to Huddersfield Town is doing wonders for his development.
The highly-rated striker has been a revelation since joining the League One outfit in early November, going straight into Lee Clark’s side and scoring three times in seven starts as he settles into the rigours of League football.
Afobe was a regular in the Reserves during the first half of the season but Arsène Wenger and his coaching staff felt that valuable first-team experience from a loan move would be the best bet for his promising career.
Afobe can see the reasoning behind their thinking.
“It’s very good experience for me at the age of 17 to go on loan,” Afobe told Arsenal.com. “I’m pleased with the way it’s gone in the first month. I think I’ve adapted well and everyone has made me feel really welcome.
“I think I’m going to come back to Arsenal a lot stronger. I feel a lot stronger in the month I’ve been away and hopefully that will continue in the next month.
“The defenders in League One try and intimidate me before the game and even during the game but I don’t take notice of it and just try to play my own game.
“It’s made me realise how much three points can mean. In a Reserve game it’s all about the development side but there [in League One] if we win ugly no-one cares as long as we get the three points.”
Afobe joined up with Steve Bould’s side to play in the FA Youth Cup win over Darlington on Tuesday before returning to the north-west ahead of the Terriers’ match against Brentford on Saturday. He was instrumental in Arsenal’s 6-1 win at Underhill, scoring twice.
After an impressive initial month at the Galpharm Stadium, manager Clark decided to extend the loan deal until January 8 and Afobe has not ruled out the possibility of extending that further - even to the end of the season.
“Of course I’m missing the lads. On the pitch I’ve got a telepathic reading of their minds so it’s been different playing without them but I’ve adapted well,” he said.
“I don’t know what will happen when my loan comes to an end, that will be up to the Arsenal staff but I’m just looking forward to the month ahead.”Copyright 2013 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 15 Dec 2010