Wolves and their fans probably approached the winter transfer window feeling that it wouldn’t really matter if they didn’t add further players to their star studded squad, as they have enough to get promoted with what and who they already have.
They’ve been superb in the league this season under Nuno Espirito Santo, and have now opened up an 11 point lead at the top of the table. However, there were persistent rumours that Wolves were looking for a striker and that proved to be true on deadline day.
Chris Martin, then of Derby County, had been tipped with a move to Molineux; but as soon as former Wolves man Benik Afobe became available, the 24 year old became their top target. Afobe had left Wolves to sign for Bournemouth in 2016 after hitting 23 goals in 48 games for the West Midlands outfit, and after being a regular for the south coast side has now found himself surplus to requirements. There had been talk Bournemouth wanted a sale but Wolves managed to draft Afobe in on loan for the rest of the campaign.
Afobe’s arrival should help get Wolves over the line this season and be positive for various reasons. First of all, even though Leo Bonatini has been extremely impressive leading the line so far this season, Afobe will add a different dimension in the final third. Bonatini is great at dropping off and bringing others into play, but Afobe possesses real pace and power. He is a goal scorer first and foremost and will certainly be lapping up chances created by the likes of Helder Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro, Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves. You can always rely on Afobe to come up with the goods and he will potentially turn draws into wins.
Loaning Afobe also gives Nuno the chance to asses the striker close up, before committing to spending big money on him. While money has proved no object at Molineux recently, the players that have arrived have all been quality. However, they are looking to do things properly, and these next few months are a great chance for Afobe to once again prove his worth in the West Midlands; and earn himself a permanent move back to his former club.
With Wolves destined for the Premier League, they will already be planning for next season playing in the top flight. This has been borne out by the club being huge odds on favourites at all established betting sites. Wolves fans who fancy a punt can check out Betting.com’s directory of online bookies, to ascertain which operator appeals the most. Afobe has hit 11 goals for Bournemouth in England’s top tier and while he may not have been prolific, he now knows the league and knows what’s required to compete. With Afobe still only being 24 too, it’s highly likely that he can still yet improve over the next few years; and this fits with Wolves’ ethos as their average age right now is 25.
It would take one hell of a slip up now for Wolves not to find themselves paying Premier League football next season and Afobe’s arrival will certainly strengthen their claims even further. They have quality all over the pitch, especially at the top end and you can guarantee that a few of those close games will be decided by Afobe getting on the scoresheet and that’s precisely why he will help to get them over the line.