Every season a number of Arsenal players go out on loan to gain valuable first-team experience and the 2010/11 campaign was no different.
Arsenal.com have tracked the progress of the loanees throughout the season and our ‘Loan Review’ series will examine each player in turn. Today we focus on Benik Afobe.
Benik initially joined Huddersfield on a one-month loan in November but, following a fruitful start to life in the North-West, that was extended until the end of the season.
The pacy frontman went straight into Lee Clark’s side and scored three times in eight appearances as he settled into the rigours of League football.
He continued to impress manager Lee Clark with some mature performances as Huddersfield pushed for automatic promotion from League One.
FA regulations stopped Benik playing against Arsenal in the FA Cup Fourth Round but he went on to make 36 appearances, scoring eight times, as Huddersfield eventually lost out in the play-offs.
“It is very good experience for me at the age of 17 to go on loan. I think I’m going to come back to Arsenal a lot stronger,” said Benik.
“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.”
Richard Sutcliffe of the Yorkshire Evening Post:
“He’s been superb. He’s come in, at 17 years old, and done really well. Over the season he has developed his control and poise. Even in the Premier League, defenders don’t like pace.
“Huddersfield have four strikers which they alternate but he is the only one who gave them out-and-out pace. His influence has grown as the season has gone on.
“I think he has grown as a player with his confidence and I think he has become more mature. He looks like he has got real potential and is certainly going to have a very good career in the game.
“He has more than played his part in Huddersfield’s good season. They went on a 25-game unbeaten run and there has been a few occasions when goals that he has either created or scored kept Huddersfield in games.”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 31 May 2011