Benik Afobe was key to Bournemouth winning the race for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

The Daily Star says the South Coast club agreed to pay Arseanl a £2m loan fee and all of Wilshere’s £100,000-a-week wages, making it a £7m commitment for the campaign.

Cherries hit-man Afobe, who came through the ranks at Arsenal with Wilshere and is godfather to his child, persuaded him to make the move.

A Bournemouth source said: “We were not confident of getting Jack until Benik stepped in and told him this was the place for him.

“The two of them are still good friends from Benik’s Arsenal days so that was our trump card.

“Benik told him he would like our style of play and that the manager would get the best out of him.”

It was certainly a shocking move given Wilshere’s status at boyhood club Arsenal and his long-held reputation as one of Europe’s outstanding young players.

Wilshere, 24, has an extensive injury record starting back in 2009 when he suffered the first of many serious ankle injuries.

Despite having a minor knee injury in pre-season, Wilshere has recovered to be on the substitute’s bench for each of Arsenal’s three Premier League matches this season.

Even the Arsenal fans have been left baffled on Twitter over the news that the England man is leaving the club after all these years.