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Having tried and failed to sign the then Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe in January 2016, HITC have shared their opinion claiming that Newcastle should look to sign him when the winter transfer window opens. It has been reported that Bournemouth might offload the former Arsenal man and HITC opined that Newcastle should target Afobe.
Would Rafael Benitez really consider such a move though? I would imagine given what we know, it would seem extremely unlikely.
Benitez is as wily as he is intelligent and he knows fine well that having quantity is not the same thing as having quality. Given their relative records and reputation, there would be little to choose between Afobe, Joselu, Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic. So having four strikers fighting over one position would only bring trouble to the club.
I can’t imagine the fans would particularly wish to queue up at the door of St James’s Park to welcome a player who is behind a former Sunderland striker in the pecking order at Bournemouth either. Hardly the Alan Shearer homecoming, is it?
One alarming thing when it comes to how his quality is measured by other clubs was his heavy link with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer. According to reports, Afobe knew his time was effectively up at Bournemouth and was free to leave, and Wolves were a side who could have taken him had they wished to.
His former employers passed on that opportunity though and instead brought in Leo Bonatini. True, Wolves have money to spend, but if Newcastle are to sign a player that a Championship side passed up on, then things truly look doomed on Tyneside.
The potential suitors for Afobe in January from the Premier League has been reported to be West Bromwich Albion. Again, with the greatest of respect for West Brom, if Newcastle are battling a club and a team of that stature for a player then it tells Benitez all he needs to know – that the player is not good enough.
Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic would walk into the Wolves side and both would arguably do the same at the Hawthorns, which begs the question as to why Newcastle United would look to sign a player these clubs are looking to sign. They already have better on the books.
One final thought on Afobe’s quality as a top level former is that he is one of the many to have been let go by Arsenal in 2015. Rafa Benitez is ambitious and wants to be where Arsenal currently are. So with that in mind, why sign a player who was considered by that club as ‘not good enough’?
All things considered then, Newcastle should not consider signing Benik Afobe!