Stoke City forward Benik Afobe touches down ahead of transfer



Benik Afobe has been greeted by paparazzi in Turkey as he lands ahead of a loan move to Trabzonspor.

The striker has been back at Stoke City for the past month and a half following an injury-plagued season on loan at Bristol City.

Michael O’Neill had been keen to get him back into the first team picture but, as pre-season has gone on, the 27-year-old has gradually fallen down the pecking order.

He started a Carabao Cup first round tie against Blackpool but was left out of the match day 18 altogether on Saturday as Stoke kicked off their Championship season at Millwall.

The arrival of Steven Fletcher was always going to make it more difficult and O’Neill has been candid that Afobe needs a lot more minutes to get back up to speed following a knee ligament injury.

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Stoke, unfortunately, do not have the luxury to offer anyone such time this season, particularly with such an emphasis on making a strong start.

Trabzonspor, who have Eddie Newton as sporting director, have emerged overnight as an option for Afobe and he has flown over to seal a move.

O’Neill had 17 other players who did not feature at The Den and although a good chunk will be part of his plans this season, it is clear that Stoke have work to do to clear the decks.

Badou Ndiaye, Kevin Wimmer and Moritz Bauer are the most pressing concerns, big earners who are not training with the first team.





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