Benik Afobe is ‘happy in Trabzonspor and wants to continue’ after a day of speculation in the Turkish press about his future.
The 27-year-old striker is on a long-term loan deal away from Stoke City but the local media seized when he apparently removed a mention of Trabzonspor from his social media account over the weekend.
Multiple reports quickly emerged that he could be heading back to the Potteries a few months early, not least to help solve Michael O’Neill’s injury crisis.
But his best mate Sanmi Odelusi is quoted by 61saat today trying to put that story to bed, saying: “Afobe is not leaving the club. He is happy in Trabzonspor. It doesn’t mean anything that he changed his biography and photo. Afobe is satisfied with Trabzonspor and wants to continue.
“Sorry, the best strikers in the world are going through tough times. The fans should believe and encourage him in times of trouble.”
Afobe himself added weight to that theory with an Instagram story after Trabzonspor’s 2-1 win at Badou Ndiaye’s Fatih Karagumruk put them seventh in Super Lig.
He posted a photograph of himself in club training gear with a series of blue and red hearts and a message: “Great win yesterday. Keep climbing the league!”
Afobe has scored three times in nine starts and five sub appearances so far this season and came off the bench on Sunday.
Eddie Newton, the manager who signed him, left at the end of October to be replaced by Abdullah Avci.
All three parties would have to agree to terminate a loan early and Stoke are already trying to organise more exits for players on the fringes this month.