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“Maybe it was better to leave Arsenal without playing a game”

Benik Afobe

Benik Afobe says he loves everyone at Arsenal but feels he deserved more of a chance at Emirates Stadium after being at the club for 15 years.

The 22-year-old left the Gunners for Wolves in January 2015 following a succession of loan moves, but now he is back in the Premier League with Bournemouth and has scored three goals in three games.

Afobe says he isn’t bitter despite his lack of opportunities at Arsenal and believes his loan experience helped raise his confidence.

He told the Guardian:

“I love them, love everyone at Arsenal, but it would have been nice to have got my chance because, to be honest, I don’t think I got a fair chance in the first team. I never made an appearance while there have been players who haven’t had great Arsenal careers who played five or 10 games, but that’s a story for another day.

“Maybe it was better to leave Arsenal without playing a game because everyone knows I didn’t get a chance. If I had played four or five games and was terrible, you start thinking you are an Arsenal reject. For me it was just that the chance didn’t come.

“At Arsenal you’re training with England Under-19 players, you’re seeing Fàbregas or Van Persie next to you in the dressing room, and you think – not in an arrogant way, but you do think it – ‘I am here, I am not far away.’ But you are. Sitting in the same changing room, having a joke with them, having dinner out with them, you have to know that these players are miles ahead in terms of what they have done.”

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