It was announced this morning that Arsenal striker Benik Afobe will spend the remainder of the campaign on loan at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
Having recovered sufficiently from the injury that saw him miss the first half of the season, the England U21 international is now embarking on his fifth loan spell, having previously spent time with Huddesfield Town, Reading, Bolton Wanderers and Millwall.
The youngster’s career thus far has been blighted by a succession of injuries, but his clinical nature in front of goal remains intact, as demonstrated by the fact that he found the net four times for Arsenal’s U21 side in his seven appearances at that level since returning from injury in November, including the dramatic winner against Chelsea in the U21 Premier League Cup on Monday night.
With his contract at Emirates Stadium set to expire five months from today, however, time is running out for Afobe to make the grade at Arsenal and the prospect of him departing the club without having made a single competitive appearance for the first-team now appears to be a genuine possibility.
The 20 year old joins fellow Arsenal loanee Damian Martinez at Hillsborough and could make his debut for his temporary club against Barnsley on Saturday.
Afobe’s departure comes at a time when Chuba Akpom is also out on loan, leaving Arsenal U21s without a recognised available striker. Zak Ansah is still working his way back to full fitness after injury, but Yaya Sanogo is back from his time on the sidelines and could feature at that level soon, whilst Alex Iwobi, who is usually deployed as a winger, has operated as a central striker in the past.
Further Arsenal youngsters could head out on loan before tomorrow night’s transfer deadline, with centre-back Daniel Boateng, who will be released in the summer, having been linked with a move to Scottish side Hibernian. Midfielders Thomas Eisfeld and Kristoffer Olsson would also benefit from spells elsewhere.