Benik Afobe has revealed just how crucial Eddie Howe was in securing the services of Jack Wilshere ahead of the Arsenal midfielder’s season-long loan at Bournemouth.
The football world was stunned when, just days before the transfer deadline, Arsene Wenger revealed that the 24-year-old would be allowed to leave the Emirates in search of regular first-team football.
Wilshere has been best friends with the Bournemouth striker since the age of nine, after the pair came through Arsenal’s academy together.
Yet speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show, Afobe admitted he played a minimal role in convincing the England international to sign for the Cherries.
“To be honest it was nothing to do with me! It was definitely what the manager, Eddie Howe and the assistant Jason [Tindall] said to him.
“He told me what the manager said and I said to him ‘You’re my best friend I would love you to be here but I care more about your career than I care about our friendship. If this wasn’t the right club for you, I would tell you the truth.’”
Wilshere has been plagued by injuries since making his Arsenal debut aged just 16 and he was a high-profile omission from Sam Allardyce’s first England squad.
But Afobe believes his former Gunners team-mate has the ability to provide the inspiration the South Coast club need in their second Premier League season.
“Jack is someone that’s always wanted to be successful and show the world what he can do.” said Afobe. “He’s a great player and a great lad. Hopefully he can help us go and climb the table.”