By Giuseppe Muro

Benik Afobe says his dream of playing for Arsenal is closer to reality now he has travelled to the Club’s pre-season training camp.

The young striker was selected in Arsène Wenger’s squad for the trip to Germany and made his first appearance at senior level when he came on as an injury-time substitute against Cologne at the weekend.

For Benik, who has been at the Club since the age of eight and is a product of the Hale End Academy, it moved him one step closer to realising his ambition.

“Since I was six years old, my dream has always been to play for Arsenal’s first team and hopefully that dream can come true,” he told

“It is really good experience because it is my first time away with the first team. Hopefully I will get another chance.”

Afobe says last season’s loan spell at Huddersfield helped with his transition from the youth set-up and has targeted making similar strides to another product of the Academy.

“[My loan at Huddersfield] helped me because it was the first time I was with a first team, it gave me confidence and it showed me that I can play with players who are much older than me.

Jack Wilshere inspires not just me but all the youth players because he has shown it can be done. Hopefully there will be more players following in his footsteps.”

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26 Jul 2011