He was signed professionally in 2010 and has since spent time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town, Reading, Bolton and Millwall.His career return of 15 goals in 71 games is not overly impressive, but the potential he showed against United means Wenger must be contemplating why he allowed to let him leave on a season-long loan.Having represented England from U16 through to U21 level – and having scored once already for the oldest of those sides – he has shown he can rise to the big occasion.But even if Arsenal fans do not see Afobe play at the Emirates for the remainder of this season, they will laud him as a hero after downing United in such devastating fashion.
The softness of the dustbag, the crush of the sugar paper as you unwrap it, then, finally, that unmistakeable scent of real leather – there’s something undeniably luxurious about the first touch of a designer handbag. And for most of us, such bags are the single designer item in our wardrobes – carefully stored among the fail-safe M&S trousers, sturdy Hobbs dresses and trendy Zara tops. The perfect once-in-a-lifetime investment or birthday gift, a quality designer handbag will not just stand the test of time, but look good whether you’re a size 8 or 18, and add a slick of polish to any High Street outfit.Yet our beloved designer handbags seem to be slipping from our grasp as prices sky-rocket. Chanel’s instantly recognisable and versatile Large Classic Flap Bag, for example, has increased by 70 per cent, to £2,740, in just five years. A natural leather Mulberry Bayswater, meanwhile, that cost £650 in early 2012 is now £895. An Alexander McQueen clutch, which cost £845 in 2012, will now set you back £995.And it’s not just at the very top of the market that prices are climbing rapidly.
Even brands such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite, Coach, which has traditionally sold bags with starting points of £200 to £300 – and enjoyed double-digit sales gains during the recession – are increasing their prices.In 2009, Coach was hailing its bright, breezy Poppy range – which combined colourful canvas, denim and leather – as a recession-proof bargain. But now it has hired British accessories maestro Stuart Vevers, formerly of Mulberry and Loewe, it has started throwing around figures that make Chanel look modest.‘You can have a £3,000, £1,500 or £1,200 Coach bag in the future,’ the brand’s chairman Victor Luis recently told U.S. fashion industry bible Women’s Wear Daily.The simple answer is that the more accessible the ‘average’ shopper finds handbags, the less appealing they are to the very rich, who would prefer something a little more exclusive. And the big fashion houses are very, very busy chasing the very rich; specifically the roubles of the billionaire Russian oligarchs and the yuan of Chinese super-consumers.‘There are a lot of extremely rich people in countries such as China and Russia, while in the West the wealthy have seen their incomes rising far faster than the rest of us,’ says fashion and retail consultant Sandra Halliday, until recently editor-in-chief at leading fashion forecaster WGSN.