It has been quite some time now since Benik Afobe has really been given an opportunity to prove his worth to Stoke City.
Having spent last season out on loan with Championship rivals Bristol City, a campaign which was severely hampered by an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Afobe returned to Stoke this summer, where he was handed an outing for the Potters in their EFL Cup penalty win over Blackpool.
Despite that, Afobe did not remain at the Bet365 Stadium much longer, and in September this year, the 27-year-old completed a season-long loan move to Trabzonspor.
Since them it did seem as though the striker had started to make something of a point to those watching on from afar at his parent club.
In just his second appearance for Trabzonspor, Afobe scored twice to help his new side to a 3-1 over Malatyaspor, highlighting his ability in front of goal.
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Since then however, Afobe has found the net just once in his subsequent six appearances for Trabzonspor – in a 3-1 defeat to Fenerbahce – and his side now find themselves 15th in the the Turkish top-flight, with two wins from nine league games.
As a result, it does now seem as though the pressure is on Afobe to prove to Stoke that he is still worth giving a chance to when he returns to the Potters.
When his loan deal with Trabzonspor expires next summer, Afobe, as things stand, will be entering the final year of his contract with Stoke, meaning it could be their last chance to receive a fee for him.
Consequentially, it could be argued Afobe will have to have an impressive season for Trabzonspor if Stoke are to decide to take a chance on him next season, and potentially beyond that, particularly given he was not part of their Championship matchday squad prior to his loan move away.
Right now, it seems as though that may not be the easiest thing for Afobe to do, although it should be remembered that there is still plenty of time remaining in the season for that to chance, meaning the striker’s progress in Turkey could be well worth keeping an eye on over the next few months.