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Benik Afobe is not for sale, says Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe

21:03 GMT 19/01/2018
The Cherries boss disclosed that the club is not ready to part ways with DR Congo international and that he remains an important part of his squad

Benik Afobe still has a 'valuable part to play' at Bournemouth, according to manager Eddie Howe.

The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 24 appearances across all competitions this season. But despite his struggles in front of goal, Howe disclosed that the Arsenal academy product still has a vital role in the team while recalling his effort in their survival battle 2016-17 season.

"Last season was the same, his [Afobe’s] form at the end of the season with Josh King, I thought they formed a really good partnership and was one of the reasons we picked up the points to keep our Premier League status,” said Howe.

"This season has been a bit more difficult for him but that's football, your career always has highs and lows.

"I back Benik and I think he has a valuable part to play here."

The former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward was introduced as a 91st minute substitute in the Cherries' 2-1 win over Arsenal last Saturday - his 12th substitute appearance in the English top-flight this season.

Afobe would be eyeing his sixth Premier League start in the ongoing campaign when Bournemouth visit West Ham United on Saturday.