After a ten year stay in the Premier League, Stoke City were embarking on the challenge to return there at the first attempt.
Upon their fate being sealed and a new mountain to climb, Paul Lambert left the club, and Gary Rowett was appointed.
The former Derby County boss was entrusted with moulding the Potters into a team to be primed and ready for a promotion charge.
After the arrival of Peter Etebo, Rowett moved quickly to snap up the signature of another player he felt could do a job at the Bet 365 Stadium.
On June 12, 2018, Stoke City confirmed the loan signing of Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe.
Stoke City are delighted to announce the signing of @Wolves striker Benik Afobe
The 25-year-old striker has moved to the bet365 Stadium on a six-month loan but with an obligation to purchase him for an undisclosed fee in January
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) June 12, 2018
This deal came 11 days after the newly-promoted club had signed the former Bournemouth man on a permanent deal.
Afobe’s loan would turn permanent in the next transfer window, with Wolves making a £2million profit on their short-term capture.
Stoke fans instantly took to social media to express their reactions to the 25-year-old’s arrival.
WERE ACTUALLY WALKING THIS LEAGUE
— . (@SCFCOkay) June 12, 2018
Awesome work stoke, awesome work Scholes!
— Chris Eltham (@stokecitychris) June 12, 2018
30 goals a season confirmed
— b (@xTzzzY) June 12, 2018
We are gonna smash the championship 120 points guaranteed
— Harry (@harry_adderley) June 12, 2018
Life at Stoke for off to the perfect start for Afobe, scoring on his debut despite a defeat away to Leeds on the opening day.
Stoke’s marksman has featured in every game for the Potters this term, 22 times from kick-off and seven times from the substitutes bench.
Goals have not come as freely as Afobe would have liked with the Championship side struggling to adapt to the division.
It hasn’t been a tough ask to get to grips to the rigors of the second-tier, and Stoke have really struggled to do that consistently throughout the season.
The 25-year-old has managed seven – and each game he has scored in, the club have failed to win – which means they still have more to do to improve.
But Afobe is Stoke’s top scorer so far this term and is doing his level best to get them up the table.
The initial reaction to his arrival was one of pure excitement from the club’s supporters, and so far despite failing to live up to that expectation fully.
He is slowly showing signs that he can regain the form he had last season for Wolves when they were promoted.