By Giuseppe Muro
Benik Afobe has made his mark on Huddersfield Town since joining the League One side on loan at the beginning of November - and the young striker is definitely learning a thing or two up in the North-West.
The highly-rated teenager has just extended his stay at the Galpharm Stadium until the end of the season after impressing manager Lee Clark with some mature performances as he gets to grips with the results industry of the professional game.
After beginning the season in the Reserves, Afobe was thrust into the rigours of League football at the tender age of 17. Naturally, he experienced a ‘coming of age’.
“I have learned that three points means much more than it does in the reserve and youth teams,” he admitted. “Even though at Arsenal you want to win, it's much more about development.
“But when I got to Huddersfield I learned that three points mean a lot more, it can be the difference between first and second place. You can win ugly and it doesn't really matter how you get those three points - that's what I've learned.
“Obviously it's always going to be hard playing against men who have been doing it for five, ten years. But I have been enjoying it and the experience of playing first-team football has been second to none.
“I just want to continue working on my game and become the player Arsenal want me to be and what I want to be.”
“It's a major step in my career. A lot of people go out on loan from the Academy but when they go out on loan they're usually at least 18 but I'm only just 17 so I feel honoured to be making this step two years early.
Lee Clark’s side are currently third in League One, just six points behind leaders Brighton. Afobe has set his sights on repaying their faith in him by helping them achieve promotion to the Championship before he returns to Arsenal to push for a place in the first team.
“I just want to make the most of it and if I can prove I can play first-team football at 17, I can see myself having a chance in the future and that's all I want.
“I'm just hoping from now until May it will just be a very good season for Huddersfield and we can go and get promoted.”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 28 Jan 2011