Huddersfield Town keep hold of Gunner Afobe

Prospects of Huddersfield Town playing tonight's JP Trophy clash at Tranmere Rovers look decidedly slim but the Terriers are in buoyant mood anyway following the extension of Arsenal whizz-kid Benik Afobe's loan deal.

Town's Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern-area semi-final at Tranmere tonight is subject to a 10am pitch inspection this morning but the chances of the game getting the go-ahead in light of the current big freeze are slim to say the least.

However, the Terriers have already received a major boost ahead of next Saturday's League One cruncher against Brighton with the news that Afobe will be staying on loan for another month.

The 17-year-old striker, who has scored three goals in eight appearances for the Terriers, saw his initial one-month loan spell end on Saturday but the England Under-17 international will now stay at the

Galpharm Stadium until January 8.

The forward is extremely highly rated by the Gunners – the six-foot star voted Arsenal's under-18 player of the season last term – and news of his loan extension has delighted Town boss Lee Clark who has been mightily impressed with the teenager's maturity.

The Town boss also says loaning players from illustrious clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool is proof of Huddersfield's progress – the Terriers having recently taken Danny Drinkwater and Martin Kelly from the latter two.

"It's easy to forget how young he is!" said Clark.

"He was in school this time last year!

"When you are dealing with clubs in the stature of Arsenal, it shows what they think of you.

"They are sending their young players out to help their development and they will want them to be in the right environment.

"To have already forged relationships with three of the biggest clubs in English football shows that the word is getting around the football world that we do things in the right way."

As Afobe has signed on a youth loan deal, he can be called back by Arsenal at any time to play in their under-18s team as they look to progress in the FA Youth Cup.

FORMER FAN: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy. Picture: Simon Hulme

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