BENIK AFOBE is hungry to be involved in the biggest game of his life.
The 17-year-old England youth international striker has been given the go-ahead by parent club Arsenal to play for Town in the fourth round clash at the Emirates on Sunday, and the player couldn’t be more pleased.
“When Arsenal said they were going to let me play I was delighted,” said Afobe, who was back with the Gunners in midweek to play in their 1-0 reserve team win over Chelsea.
“There was a bit of banter with the lads down there when they found out I could play, but of course I am really looking forward to it. It is going to be the biggest game of my career so far.”
Afobe had no qualms at all about facing the club who took him on board at the age of six after seeing him play junior football in Dagenham.
“Honestly it was not difficult to decide that I wanted to play because I get the chance to test myself against one of the best teams in England and one of the best defences in the world,” he said.
“I am delighted with the way everything has been going at Huddersfield and now I could get the chance to show everyone what I can do.”
Afobe, now fully recovered from a knee injury, feels that being able to join Town on loan has accelerated his development, with the arrangement that has seen him return to play Youth Cup and reserve matches for Arsenal giving him every opportunity to improve.
“Being just 17, going out on loan at this stage has been very good for me,” said Afobe.
“It has been great because I am now doing much better than I thought I would and playing in the league is much better than playing youth team football.
“When I have been back at Arsenal for the FA Youth Cup I felt that I was a lot stronger than most of the players around me, and that is down to playing in the first team at Huddersfield.
“It really is a great experience for someone of my age and now that Arsenal are out of the Youth Cup hopefully I can carry on playing for Town – I am really looking forward to it.”
And having been back at Arsenal this week it could be that Lee Clark has had a very useful spy in his opponents’ camp.
“I haven’t had chance to talk to the manager yet,” smiled Afobe, “but if the gaffer has got one or two questions I am sure that I should be able to help him.”