Ansah set to extend Arsenal stay but Afobe could depart

Striker Zak Ansah appears set to accept Arsenal’s offer of a new one-year contract ahead of the new campaign, but fellow forward Benik Afobe may well depart on a permanent basis before the end of next month.

Ansah, after showing much initial promise as a schoolboy, has found the going considerably more difficult since turning professional, with injuries and the extraordinary progression of Chuba Akpom providing barriers to his progress.

However, the striker, who recently trained with Ghana’s U20 World Cup squad after switching his international allegiance to the African country, is still determined to impress at Arsenal and, after amassing 28 appearances at U21 level, could experience his first loan spell next season.

Afobe, in contrast, appears to be coming towards the end of his time with the club, particularly in light of the confirmation of the acquisition of Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre. Afobe’s spell as a professional, like Ansah, has been decimated by injury, but the 20 year old has also taken in loan stints with Huddersfield Town, Reading, Bolton Wanderers and Millwall, the most recent of which was cut short by yet another injury from which he has almost recovered.

League One side Bristol City have an interest in signing the England U21 international on a permanent deal and are expected to make an offer for his services in the coming days. If he were to elect to move to Ashton Gate, Afobe would join fellow former Gunner Jordan Wynter and potentially goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook, who is on trial with Sean O’Driscoll’s side.

Sanogo, meanwhile, will go straight into Arsenal’s first-team squad, although quite how often he will be called upon during his first season at the club remains to be seen. He is likely to miss the Asia Tour due to his on-going commitments with France at the U20 World Cup, but should feature in the Emirates Cup and will be hopeful of shining in competitive competitions during the campaign.



  1. Hale End Boys = Second-class citizens. Afobe deserved the same number of chances that Bendtner, Walcott and Squillaci got to show and improve.

    1. since 1999 when wenger handed debuts to cole, pennant and weston he has given at least another 50 debuts to academy products. obviously not all from hale end, but I doubt there is another manager out there that gets anywhere near that record, and that list does not include last seasons academy debutants

      Ashley Cole
      Jermaine Pennant
      Rhys Weston
      Graham Barrett
      Moritz Volz
      John Halls
      Carlin Itonga
      Rohan Ricketts
      Jeremie Aliadiere
      Ryan Garry
      David Bentley
      Justin Hoyte
      Cesc Fabregas
      Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
      Ryan Smith
      John Spicer
      Graham Stack
      Jerome Thomas
      Johan Djourou
      Sebastian Larsson
      Arturo Lupoli
      Patrick Cregg
      Niklas Bendtner
      Fabrice Muamba
      Anthony Stokes
      Kerrea Gilbert
      Matthew Connolly
      Mark Randall
      Armand Traore
      Fran Merida
      Nacer Barazite
      Kieran Gibbs
      Henri Lansbury
      Jack Wilshere
      Gavin Hoyte
      Jay Simpson
      Rui Fonte
      Paul Rodgers
      Wojciech Szczesny
      Gilles Sunu
      Sanchez Watt
      Craig Eastmond
      Kyle Bartley
      Thomas Cruise
      Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
      Ignasi Miquel
      Conor Henderson
      Emmanuel Frimpong
      Oguzhan Ozyakup
      Chuks Aneke
      Nicholas Yennaris
      Daniel Boateng

      1. And how many of the 50 has “HE” developed into first team players.
        Foreign players he has bought in are fast tracked to first team, English players are discarded. Given your stat maybe the problem is Mr Wenger , whilst he is in charge home grown talent has no chance of succeeding.

    2. You serious? Squid wasn’t a teen for starters, he had played for Sevilla and Lyon and the France National team and signed as depth. Walcott was a special talent bought for a large fee and Bendtner had talent but wasted it because he’s a delusional knob.

      Listen I like Afobe and hope he goes onto have a successful career. But he’s 20 now, he’s had injury troubles that have hindered his development and his last couple of loans haven’t really been successful. It’s best for him and us if he’s let go and he can start a fresh.

    3. How is he suppose to play in the PL when he can’t stay fit in league 1 and Championship? Bendtner at least helped Birmingham to step up. He manage to stay fit for Sunderland too. and for our first team.

      Afobe is being fast tracked. If he wasn’t injured so much he would have been around with our first team already.

      I totally agree with you that HE boys are being pushed aside when we sign a new player but if you are really good you can still do it. Like Akpom, Ansah, Afobe, Yennaris and Hayden has done. You have to be really really good though. But there will always be one or two who is exceptional from HE. Mugabo is doing fine too.

      Key is to stay fit and perform outstanding. I feel bad for Jebb but class is permanent so I think he will do fine once he get the chance regular with the U21.

    4. Well work your way through the list nearly all those apprentices have had or still are enjoying first team careers. Just because an apprentice moves his career to another club doesn’t mean he has not succeeded. Plenty of apptentice in all trades often change from the company that they started with why should football be any different?

      I served my apprenticeship at a lowly club I am now semi retired but have worked in the game I love for 25 years plus and made a very good living for myself.

      Just looking at this list I can see more than 15 players that have represented their country. Is that not success? For some people playing international football is something you can only dream about as a kid.

      As for wenger being the problem? Well I wonder if you have managed to stay in the same job for almost 30 years and spent 17 of them with one company. Wenger might not be flavour of the month with you and some fans. But for his board of directors, us shareholders and nearly every player who has worked under him he is a dream manager.

  2. Been saying this for a very long time now, If only home grown talent were afforded the same opportunities as those who are bought into the club from overseas.
    How long before Aneke and Yennaris are also shown the door.
    I bet the equivalent foreign boys will see more of the first team than they do.
    Makes Jordan Browns decision to join West Ham Utd lk like a very wise move.

    The worse thing any young English aspiring footballer can do is join Arsenal academy.
    Unless you are bought into the club you have no chance. Curse of the academy.

    1. Was England’s miserable failure at the U20 World Cup and U21 Championships also because of Wenger?

      Please, do yourself a favour and stop with the comical delusion that English youngsters are just as gifted as any. We buy foreign kids because they’re better. And then they progress into the first team because they’re better.

      I bet you’re one of those who told anyone who would listen that Lansbury was better than Denilson and Diaby, that Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was better than Walcott, and other assessments of talent that now look ridiculous. Take a good look at the sort of careers that foreign Arsenal graduates have compared to the home grown ones after they leave and stop embarrassing yourself.

      1. To be honest, Lansbury was much much better than Denilson. Denilson was played one whole season in the midfield, but Lansbury… he was sent on host of loan spells and then shipped out permanently even after scoring on his debut. AGAINST THE SCUM FROM NORTH LONDON.

      2. With an username like that we have to assume significant bias for Lansbury.

        Believe what you want, but one of them is now a regular for Sao Paulo playing with Brazilian internationals and the other has to fight for a game in the Championship.

        If any of this laughable rubbish about Arsenal giving opportunities based on nationality rather than ability was true, surely we would be seeing plenty of the English boys we released, now they are free from Arsenal’s oppressive regime which held them back, thriving in the Premier League. Instead most are in the Championship or lower because, sadly, that’s where they belong.

    2. You obviously do not appreciate or understand what being an apprentice is?

      Ask any of the apprentices on the list above if they would swap their academy years to play somewhere else.

      If you went to oxford university or your local college which of the two is going to give you the best chance in life?

      Make no mistake if jordan brown is going to play for england and win medals he will. But my bet is he would if he stayed with arsenal or if he stays with west ham

      Why has dan crowley left villa?

      Thing is lanesra you are down on arsenal I understand that. You are probably one of those people that are moaning about us sigining yaya sanogo a goalscoring striker at every.level he has played. He is 20 years old and cost £450k he scored 11 goals for auxerre first team in just 24 appearances. Yet man united sign a 20 year old who has managed a dozen goals in over a 100 games for palace but cost them £15m and everyone thinks that is a great signing. Well I would rather give 30 or so 20 year olds an opportunity than just one.

  3. Afobe is better than Sanogo, I am not sure wenger is right on this. you can’t even compare. Benik has been top scorer at every level plus a team to prosper you need a backbone of local boys who will play with hearts. we saw it with wilshere last season while others couldn’t be bothered.

    1. Well I’m sure you know more then one of the best managers and talent spotters the game has ever seen. He’s only seen them in the flesh for years and has been doing this for a living and been rather successful at it to boot. I’m sure your 10 mins of watching youtube highlights of the 2 players has formed a much better analysis to come to such a decision. Hey maybe you should manage the team eh? Do you also play Fifa?

    2. I think so too. Afobe used to be MOTM and looked the best in England nationals every time I have watched. But he is too injury prone. I can’t see him make it with us unfortunately. Aneke on the other hand have a chance.

  4. Can’t believe that Afobe is off. I remember he and Chuks being rated as the next Wilsheres. Maybe there didn’t live up to their potential or were over-hyped. But looks like it will take sometime before we match Barcelona’s factory line. Atid’s long list can’t help me stop thinking why so many youngsters just aren’t good enough. Would have loved the academy to produce more Wilsheres. At the moment one is the rule and not the exception!

    1. Sorry I am missing something here. How many own produced academy players are in the chelsea man city man united and tottenham sides? And real madrid? Barcelona?

      Arsenal have asmany if not more than most of their rivals.

      But for the last time you can make a decent living in the game no matter where you serve your apprenticeship or where you end up. To take that on to the level of the ashley coles and fabregas’ of this world you need top ability dedication commitment and also a fair amount of luck.

      Look at bentley and pennant do u think they were doing badly at arsenal or are they doing better now.
      It isn’t about the club it is about the.player. if you are good enough strong enough and lucky enough you will be a top player but even if you are not you can still make it at some level. Just ask the likes of weston halls barrett stokes larsson if they wish they had not been at arsenals academy?

      1. How many players have Arsenal taken from Barcelona youth academy?
        Is the problem with thecoaching?
        Is the problem with the homegrown players?
        From a development perspective, Your better being a BIG fish in a small pond where you will be given an opportunity to play first team football because you are the life blood for the future of the club e.g Walcott and Ox from Southampton results in us giving them in excess of £20M.
        Home grown Arsenal Academy players are at a disadvantage, Not only do they have to contend with foreign imports but also the UK homegrowns who are afforded first team opportunities.
        We as supporters are partly to blame because we want the success.
        IF Benik Afobe or Chucks Aneke were at Charlton for example they would have been given the opportunities and could well have ended up at Arsenal as a result.
        Prime example Carl Jenkinson who struggles at Ebbsfleet. One good season and bang he’s at Arsenal.

  5. Problem is Lanestra, Afobe can’t be given the time to settle in the first team. We’re not the club of the 80’s that can afford to drop the associated points with blooding youngsters – after all what was the difference between 6-12?

    Is he today the class of Podolski, Giroud or Walcott? No.

    What’s the answer? Possibly an Arsenal B team, like Spain, but that’s not going to happen.

    Also he started out brilliantly on loan at Huddersfield, but has done nothing since. I’d love to see him succeed at Arsenal, but don’t think that will happen, and as a second choice I’d love to see him succeed elsewhere.

  6. How many of the youngsters that were given a chance and then shown the door, gone on to show that we made a mistake in doing so? I think the number will be very very low, so I don’t see why Wenger needs to give them 30-50 appearances before making a decision when he’s already proven his ability to make the decision before mistakes are made.

    And just because they’ve got injuries it doesn’t mean they don’t get given a fair chance. Kieran Gibbs had a lot of injuries from 18-22 but Wenger saw his talent, kept him and gave him a chance, and he’s been proven correct for doing so.

    You can’t slate Wenger for getting rid when there are so little that have actually shown that they should have had a chance.

  7. And for what it’s worth, I am a big Afobe fan and have been since he was about 14, but is he really going to be the kind of striker required for us to win the Premier League?

    1. And the there’s the likes of Akpom on their way up. Which right now probably has more upside then Afobe, maybe it would be different if not for the injuries but that’s how it is.

  8. afobe is decent championship player but he isnt even near the level need to be an arsenal player. we cant keep around and hope for. anyone thing he is better that sanogo, watch the world cup under 20 and some of his auxerre match , you are deluded .the only thing with sanogo is his injuries this last 2 year

    as much i would like some english player from the academy getting in the first team ,they are clearly not good enough for us. and afobe isnt

  9. A fair number of our best youth players are early developers. These guys dominate at youth level, get promoted quickly to reserves/u21’s and play for the England youth teams. The hype is justified when you see this quick progress, but you have to account for physical development at the same time. These guys should be playing above their age and should progress quickly thru the lower leagues if their top quality and physically mature. When their progress stalls, they have found there level because there is no real upside for these guys even if their still young. A good example of this is Lansbury who was overhyped and progressed quickly, but stalled in the championship and has barely improved in the last 2-3 years. I can’t see how he improves enough to make at a top PL club or even a Tottenham.

    Afobe and Aneke are not going to make it here, what’s up for debate is whether Chuba will. He will get a loan spell next year at some point and if he doesn’t take his chance, I’ll write-off his Arsenal career before he turns 19. I am actually debating on writing off Jebb and Lipman right now as they were also full grown at 15 as well and are now former England youth players. It’s hard for me to see how they can make the step up to the first team.

  10. The trouble is that Wenger hasnt got the knack of integrating young players. The surefire ones like Wilshere, Fabregas etc, okay. But there are many others than need a start here and there, not with a defacto 2nd or 3rd team in the carling cup but in squad that is otherwise first-line players. Alex Ferguson was very good at this. But Wenger just doesnt know how.

    If Wenger did this properly he could develop those vital squad players (on the level of an O’Shea, Jonhnny Evans, Phil Neville) without spending anything, thus freeing up more money to spend on stars.

    I understand the situation with Gibbs and Monreal, but fact is that Meade is a premier-league player if he is just given the chances here. He has the right attitude, the fight and the ball skils. The same is true of Yennaris – he is not released thank God, but really he should be playing here and there by now.

    Afobe, its a shame with injury. I think Wenger likes him and the kid really is hardworking in every way. He also has a certain physicality and fight that we lack and need to develop across the first team. If Danny Wellbeck can hang about the England squad and make valuable contributions to Man U despite hardly scoring, surely Afobe can be made into a premiership player for us?

    This what it takes to build a club culture and win titlles. You can keep flogging off all the kids that have Arsenal in their blood like we keep doing.

  11. I also want to say that I think Aneke will make it in the premiership, but with his style it may not be here.

    Forget the kid’s size and strength and see the way he plays. He reminds me more of a Bergkamp type of 2nd striker than a midfielder. And we dont really have that position any more.

    But Aneke’s skill on the ball is fantastic, as are his overall grasp of the game situation. He always has time on the ball and sees the field like few can. Why cant Arsenal take a stab at turning Aneke into a Rio Ferdinand-Bobby Moore sweeper type of defender? It’s worth a try – players like this are real weapons in the game, because they can do many things well and they create mismatches that the opponents cant handle so we..

  12. All this nonsense about good enough or not is a mask by Arsene Wenger. Wenger has an axe to grind with English players. Don’t believe me?, ask Ian Wright. He shipped him out because he did not like his character or sheer determination. He refused to sign his sons because of his dislike & I say disrespect to our then top goal scorer & club legend. The disrespect of Ashley Cole. The disrespect of Bentley. Even our foreign academy starlets have been treated badly. Vela, Wellington, Campbell etc… You cannot gauge how good a player will become without giving him a trial. Who knows what would have happened if Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Neville brothers, Sharpe, Butt etc had been held back into their 20’s in the academy or 2nd string. What would have happened to them?. Their heads could have dipped if they saw foreigners getting a chance ahead of them. Beckham could have come back to London & become a bricklayer. I feel that Wenger on virtually every single front now is wrong for the great club of Arsenal. He is destroying the very fabric of the club with his stubbornness. He is not signing like with like or promoting like with like & that is why he has to go. Look at the quality of players we have. Fabianski?. Bendtner?. Chamakh?. Jenkinson?. Mertasacker?. Monreal?.Gervinho?. Giroud?. Podolski?. Wenger is taking the mick out of fans & your money. I stopped spending my money on Arsenal because they are not investing in what will take the club forward. A sort of Newcastle for London. Big stadium with no success. Why did he not get a new Ian Wright, Anelka, Henry, Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Winterburn, Adams, Parlour, Bergkamp, Keown, Vieira, Petit, Overmars, Lauren, Kanu, Cole, Pires, RVP, Merson etc?. That is where he has gone wrong first. I do not buy the argument that our academy stars who have failed to be a success elsewhere after leaving Arsenal failed because they were not good enough, I believe the majority of them failed because, they should not have had to have gone elsewhere. They were sold a dream, which was Arsenal, & promised that they were the future, only to have that dream ripped away unexpectedly to such an extent that it affected their game. People can be easily disheartened when they believe that their only acceptable dream has been dashed to be offered Accrington Stanley?. They didn’t sign up for Accrington Stanley did they?. Imagine being fast tracked for a stock broker senior role with a 6-7 figure salary & then at the end being offered the role of cleaner on 18k per annum. How would that make you feel?. I salute Ashley Cole for proving Wenger & the Arsenal boards policy wrong. I salute RVP, Fabregas, Song, Clichy, Nasry, Henry, Vieira, Adebayor, etc… They knew that Arsenal could not match their ambition & they all left. Arsenal is a dying swan under Wenger. The only people who can save the club from this undue death are the fans themselves. I am hoping for Arsenal to suffer humiliating defeats this season so that they will snap & finally boot out this imposter who has tied successful Wenger up in his basement & masqueraded as the real deal. Do you recognize the difference between these 2 Wenger’s?. The original Wenger had guts & determination, this Wenger wants to destroy your club & fool you.

    1. Ian Wright: Wenger did play him when he was good enough, but then benched him as he got older then let him go. Old striker phased out and being replaced by Anelka and Henry, well what’s your complaint exactly? Besides which other than Bergkamp’s famous series of rolling one-year contracts and one short experiment with Davor Suker, Wenger has been extremely consistent in avoiding strikers over age 30.

      On SWP: Blinded by anger and greed, Ian Wright misguided his son by making him chase every last penny to Chelsea and it destroyed the kid’s career. Besides which, this story probably says it all about the SWP character – read it:
      You want to blame Wenger for that too, while you’re at it.

      On Ashley Cole: The meeting notes from Arsenal’s board meeting on this were infamously published. They document that Wenger was adamant that Cole’s salary demands were reasonable and should be met. In fact he was incredulous that the board wouldnt. As a side note, its not Wenger you should blame: he probably would have gotten his money if he had allowed himself to be shaken down by David Dein’s “agent” son, Darren, who has parlayed his Dad’s position into representaing players his Dad signed for Arsenal. In most well run businesses, this is known as “nepotism” or “corruption”. Note that Wenger is not to blame for that.

      Further to this note that since the Ashley Cole fiasco, Wenger clearly demanded and got authority to allocate his budget to player salaries as he sees fit. So clearly he responded to the problem posed by the Ashley Cole case. Meanwhile you are basically creating a false image as if he didnt care. In fact Wenger has never in all these years said a single bad word about Ashely Cole. He has shown hurt that Ashley said negative things to him to a rival manager and betrayed the confidence about inside situation to a rival, but still Wenger has been the bigger man and never once taken any of the press bait hung out to try and tempt him to slam Ashley. Name one single manager who you could have been so dignified and gracious in this situation. Mourinho? Nope – slams Ronaldo and many others. Ferguson – slams everyone he shoves out the door and even some in his camp eg Rooney. None can match Wenger here in his openness and generosity toward ex players.

      Remember how Sol Campbell walked out on Arsenal when granted a free transfer to go abroad, then turned up at Pompey? Wenger forgave him, let him train with Arsenal and even re-signed him off the scrap heap later. Stuart Taylor who said bad things about Wenger? Wenger has let him train with Arsenal too.

      Would a man who has a vendetta against English players have signed Jermaine Pennant for a record fee for a English 16 year old? Signed Francis Jeffers? Signed Walcott for 12 millon at age 16? Signed Oxlade? Signed Jenkinson from Charlton’s bench and instantly put him in England contention? Turned Kieron Gibbs from a decent attacking midfielder into a contender for England left back? Did the same for Ashley Cole, a failed, too-small left winger?

      You really have no idea what you’re talking about if you claim Wenger has a vendetta against English players, whether old or young.

      He just wants players who are good enough – or at least better than what he has in his lineup. If they are – they play right away, eg Wilshere – if they arent, they dont get promoted eg Eastmond or Lansbury. That’s the bottom line. Wenger doesn’t patronise players. They have to earn it.

      Give us call when you can name a single England player in the past 10 years who has had a high level career after told by Wenger as a youth that he wasnt good enough to make it at Arsenal. Oh, I know – you thought of David Bentley or Pennant – then realised that the fool had a poor attitude and killed his own career.That should tell you want you need to know about Wenger’s judgements – they are correct.

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