Bournemouth sign Benik Afobe for club record £9m as Cherries gamble on former Arsenal trainee to save them from relegation

 
Frank Dalleres
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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brentford - Sky Bet Championship
Benik Afobe scored 23 goals in 48 appearances for Wolves (Source: Getty)

Bournemouth have broken their transfer record for the second time since the end of last season to land England Under-21 striker Benik Afobe from Wolves for around £9m.

The Cherries, who currently lie 16th in the Premier League, have signed the 22-year-old to fill the gap left by first-choice centre-forward Callum Wilson, who suffered a serious knee injury in September.

Afobe, who has scored 10 goals in 27 games this term, has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract and could make his Bournemouth debut on Tuesday when West Ham visit the Vitality Stadium.

The former Arsenal trainee has enjoyed a rapid rise since leaving north London on a permanent basis just 12 months ago, having failed to break into the Gunners’ first team.

A prolific loan spell at MK Dons in the first half of last season yielded 19 goals in 30 games and prompted Wolves to swoop for the youngster during the last January transfer window.

Afobe has since netted 23 times in 48 appearances for the Championship club, who warded off interest in the summer from Bournemouth’s fellow top-flight newcomers Norwich.

His transfer fee eclipses the previous record £8m that the south coast outfit paid Ipswich for defender Tyrone Mings in June. Mings lasted just 12 minutes of his Premier League debut before suffering a cruciate ligament injury that has kept him sidelined since.

Wilson remains Bournemouth’s leading scorer in the league this season with five goals despite suffering the same injury as Mings in his seventh top-flight outing of the campaign.

Clubs are particularly desperate to avoid relegation this summer in order to benefit from a new £5bn Premier League television contract set to begin next term that guarantee teams at least £100m a season.

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