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Benik Afobe: 'I never had a chance at Arsenal'

Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe says that he "didn't get a chance" to break into the first team in his 14 years at Arsenal.

Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe has revealed his disappointment at not 'getting a fair chance' during his 14-year spell at Arsenal.

The 22-year-old had been with the Gunners since the age of eight until his move to Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2015, failing to make a single first-team appearance and spending most of his time out on loan.

Afobe's impressive return of 22 goals in 46 appearances during his year with Wolves earned him a big-money return to the top flight last month as the Cherries snapped him up for £12m.

"I love them, love everyone at Arsenal, but it would have been nice to have got my chance because, to be honest, I don't think I got a fair chance in the first team," Afobe told The Guardian. "I never made an appearance while there have been players who haven't had great Arsenal careers who played five or 10 games, but that's a story for another day.

"Maybe it was better to leave Arsenal without playing a game because everyone knows I didn't get a chance. If I had played four or five games and was terrible, you start thinking you are an Arsenal reject. For me it was just that the chance didn't come."

Afobe also revealed that he was not given an explanatory phone call or invited back to the Emirates to say goodbye when his switch to Molineux was finalised during a successful loan spell at MK Dons.

"I could probably have asked but I didn't want to hear anything," he added. "I thought, 'I'm confident, scoring goals, I don't need to hear anything negative.'"

Afobe has a return of three goals in four Premier League appearances since his move to Eddie Howe's side.

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Jermain Defoe of Sunderland leaves the pitch with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick during the Capital One Cup Second Round match between Sunderland and Exeter City at Stadium of Light on August 25, 2015 in Sunderland, England.
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