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Middlesbrough have been spending big over the last week or two, but Wolves will not be beaten on that score and are leading the race to sign Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe.
The Congolese front man is wanted by Wolves’ Premier League neighbours West Bromwich Albion as well, though Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are now favourites to land him in a deal thought to be worth around £8million.
Afobe played for the club between 2014 and 2016, scoring 23 times before he was sold to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth during the January transfer window for around £10million. But, with Joshua King improving all the time, Callum Wilson returning full-time from injury and now Jermain Defoe having arrived at Dean Cort from Sunderland it appears that there is no place for the man who has struck 10 Premier League goals in 46 games.
Wolves are putting together an increasingly good looking squad for the upcoming Championship season, one which is not unwinnable for them. Although his move away from the club was somewhat controversial at the time, clubs in this division cannot afford to turn down this sort of quality when it is offered and I’m sure the more discerning fans would welcome him back.
In the forward department at Molineux, Mason, Bodvarsson and Dicko are already thought to be incapable for the no.9 role and the fact that they are joined in the squad by Nazon, Enobakhare and Collins seems to indicate that Wolves have found themselves with quantity and not quality up top.
Spending £8million on someone with proven goal scoring ability at this level can end up looking like a bargain and just about every team promoted automatically in the past have shown that a player of this type is necessary. Boro, in fact, have splashed out £15million for Britt Assombalonga, a player not wanted as yet by Premier League clubs. So you can make a fair comparison there.
Afobe, first of all, can definitely get them 15 goals plus and is in a price range which makes this transfer wholly realistic. Other similar goal scorers, such as Leeds’ Chris Wood, would demand twice the price in the market which makes them too big a risk. Going foreign and cheap for a striker is a risk of a different type and not one that a club chasing promotion to the Premier League should take.
Wolves have already spent £15.8million on Ruben Neves and are not shy of spending big. But that’s not to say they wouldn’t appreciate a good bargain if it were presented to them.