Millwall have swooped to sign Benik Afobe on a season-long loan from Stoke City, reuniting Gary Rowett with the striker.
Afobe has been on the books at Stoke since the summer of 2018, when Rowett signed him upon the Potters’ return to the Championship.
However, the 28-year-old’s spell with Stoke has proved to be difficult, with Afobe struggling for consistency and scoring only eight Championship goals, despite costing a whopping £12m.
His confirmed return at Millwall – having made five appearances on loan back in 2013 – is his third spell away from the bet365 Stadium, with Bristol City and Trabzonspor offering him opportunities over the last couple of seasons.
A move back to London, where Afobe began his career with Arsenal, also offers the striker a chance to reunite with Rowett. He becomes the fourth signing of the summer at Millwall, who have added George Long, Dan Ballard and Scott Malone to their squad ahead of 2021/22.
Rowett is looking to chip back into Afobe’s prolific form at The Den, with spells with MK Dons and Wolves underlining just how good the Londoner can be.
A five month stint with MK Dons at the start of the 2014/15 campaign yielded 19 goals, with Afobe then moving on to Wolves and scoring 22 Championship goals in 46 appearances.
AFC Bournemouth swooped to sign him on the back of that, but life in the Premier League proved to be an early struggle for the striker. He would return to Wolves in 2017/18, scoring six goals in 15 appearances to help Nuno Santo’s side to promotion.
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Given Afobe’s decline over the course of the last three seasons, many might view this as a slight risk for Rowett to be making.
However, he needed to bolster his attacking options this summer and get more goals into the side. Afobe is a player he’s worked with before and his record remains fairly decent over the years.
Of course, the task is rediscovering the touch the 28-year-old had at MK Dons and Wolves, but it is hardly like he’s approaching the latter stage of his career. He’s got time on his side and is arguably now at his peak.
A year away from the Championship in Turkey might well have done him good and offered him a chance to start fresh again in England.
Thoughts? Let us know!