It appears as though Arsene Wenger is pledging his trust in Bolton again, with the Gunners poised to hand one of their most promising prospects to the Trotters for the whole of next season. With Wenger desperate to prepare Benik Afobe for the rigors of first team football, he has allowed the youngster to join the Reebok Stadium outfit on loan for the 2012/13 campaign.
Afobe is regarded as a player with massive potential at the Emirates Stadium and has already impressed following loan spells at Huddersfield and Reading. Having been at Arsenal since he was just 6-years-old, the striker has always been a handful at youth team level and Wenger will be hopeful that he can break into the Gunners first team in the near future. It is thought that Afobe has chosen Bolton as his preferred destination following the huge success of Jack Wilshere, who also spent time at the Trotters at a similar stage in his career. Media outlets are actually reporting that Afobe had offers from six other clubs in the Championship, yet the prospect of working with Owen Coyle proved decisive for the 19-year-old.
However, while there is no doubt that Afobe has huge potential, it remains to be seen whether he realises it next term. Over recent months he has struggled with several injury concerns and it is debatable whether he will start the campaign in full fitness. Moreover, while the striker has proved a handful with his pace and tricks during spells at Huddersfield and Reading, goals have certainly been hard to come by. He managed a total of eight goals during both loan spells and Wenger will be hoping that the influence of Coyle can help the player improve in this department.
Of course, with Wenger completely revamping his attacking options this term, there were absolutely no opportunities available for Afobe at first team level for the Gunners. Hopefully Owen Coyle can work his magic with another of Arsenal’s stars and prepare him for Premier League football.