‘Can’t wait to be back’ – But is striker’s finishing and fitness good news for Stoke or Bristol City?



You might have to use your imagination to add in a defender or two but it’s a warming sight to see Benik Afobe back running, shooting and scoring.

The Stoke City striker, on loan at Bristol City, has been out of action since a nasty cruciate knee ligament injury in August, having scored three in five matches.

He had been stepping up his recovery and joining in light training when football shut down last month – and now he has to be creative to continue his progress.

The 27-year-old has been joined in the park by a friend at distance with a ball, cones and goalposts – and he has been working on his sprinting and finishing.

“Can’t wait to be back,” he wrote as he posted a short clip on Instagram.

No long-term decision has been agreed between Stoke – who bought Afobe for £12m last season – and Bristol City, who signed Nahki Wells for about £5m in January.

Chief executive Tony Scholes confirmed last month: “He’s not a done deal.

“Obviously he picked up his injury, which was a great shame for him, a shame for Bristol City and a shame for Stoke City as well.

“But no, it’s not a done deal. Obviously Benik is back in training and the loan to Bristol City is still in place.

“If he gets back fit and gets back match fit, then he’s an option for them, not for us.

“The loan expires at the end of June and as things stand at the moment he returns to us.”

It remains to be seen, however, how the transfer market will react when football and the world starts to return to normal, whenever that may be.

There is also pressure to consider short or long-term amendments Financial Fair Play, which will have a huge bearing on Championship business.

And Stoke have a new manager in Michael O’Neill than Nathan Jones, who sanctioned Afobe’s exit late last summer.





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