Arsenal hold special memories but I have nothing to prove, says Bournemouth's Benik Afobe

Bournemouth's record signing says he is relishing chance to face the club where he spent his younger years

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The Independent Football

Benik Afobe says he will have nothing to prove on Sunday when Bournemouth entertain title-chasing Arsenal, his former club, in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old striker never featured for Arsenal and was loaned to six clubs before sealing a permanent transfer to Championship team Wolverhampton Wanderers a year ago.

Afobe's prolific form for Wolves, where he scored 23 goals in 48 appearances, earned a move to Bournemouth last month reportedly worth a club-record £10m.

“They (Arsenal) have been massively responsible because I was there from when I was six. They’ve played a big part in the way I play football and helped me progress as a player,” the England Under-21 international said.

“Of all the clubs I've been at, Arsenal have banged on more than any of the others about having good technique so that’s what I've taken from them. But on Sunday I’ve got a job to do for my club and there will be no friends.

“I don’t hold any grudges ... I’ve got nothing to prove to Arsenal. I would’ve liked to have got my chance but it didn’t happen. Not everything can go your way.”

Afobe has started life with Bournemouth in stunning form, scoring three goals in his last three games including the winner in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

“This run is down to the boys giving me confidence before I even kicked a ball, self-belief, and the manager [Eddie Howe] believing in me. When you play for a manager who believes in you it gives you another 10-15 per cent,” he said.

Arsenal are fourth in the table, five points behind leaders Leicester City. Bournemouth are sixth from bottom.