AFC Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe says guidance from Robin van Persie during their time together at Arsenal has helped him become an attacking threat in the Premier League.
Afobe came through the ranks at Arsenal but never made a league appearance for the club and spent a lot of time out on loan.
He left the club in 2015 to join Wolves and was an immediate success at Molineux, scoring a goal on his debut – the first of 23 for the Championship club.
His form at the start of the 2015-16 campaign caught the attention of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and a move reported to be worth £10million was completed in January.
Afobe, who has scored three goals in his first six starts for the club, says he never lost confidence in his ability to perform at the top level and believes Van Persie was the ideal role model.
“He [Van Persie] is a great guy and I have a huge amount of respect for him,” he told the Bournemouth Echo.
“I remember him saying ‘live your life right and your time will come. Keep working hard, you’re a good player, you’re strong and quick and you can score goals. Just keep wanting to learn and improve and have confidence.’
“When you are 18 or 19 and you hear that from the best striker in the Premier League at the time, it is great.
“He was such a good role model in how he lives, not just on the pitch but with how he looked after young players like me.”
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