Arsenal’s academy is known to mould young, talented rookies into great prospects, given their timely introduction to competitive football at the right age. In late 80s George Graham had given this chance to likes of young Paul Merson, Michael Thomas and David Rocastle, and now Alex Iwobi, Emile Smith-Rowe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are set to take their shots.
The Gunners’ Hale End Academy graduate Iwobi was awarded his debut at the tender age of 19 in a forgettable League Cup defeat against Sheffield Wednesday. The Nigerian returned Arsene Wenger’s trust with his fine performances in 3rd and 4th round of 2015/16 FA Cup outings and also impressed in a start against Barcelona away at Camp Nou.
Here’s a look at Alex Iwobi’s Premier League Statistics
|Goals per game
|Shots on Target
|Big chances created
|Big Chances Missed
|Free Cicks Scored
|Accurate long Balls
(source: Premier League)
Since then, Alex Iwobi has been regular member of Arsenal senior setup and gone on to represent Nigeria 21 times, won the 2016/17 FA Cup and also played a crucial role in Nigeria’s World cup qualification, but could not progress beyond Group stages.
The young winger has now has returned to pre-season training after a short vacation following the World Cup campaign.
As all footballers see great crests of their careers but also hit the troughs with no time due to loss of form and other surrounding factors, Alex Iwobi has also experienced this bitter reality very early in his career. The wideman’s development has plateaued since the last campaign due to loss of form, change of formations and the negative environment surrounding the Emirates. Singapore tour about the youngster’s contract situation amid European interest from Italian side Lazio. Emery was looking confident almost confirming the Nigerian international’s extension in North London.
— Alexander Iwobi (@alexiwobi) July 23, 2018
“I have the information – he’s near,” the gaffer said.
“Mesut, Elneny and Alex Iwobi are working with us – my first impression is very good. My information is he will sign to stay with us.”
The Spaniard is a tact analyser who develops and entrusts the youth with responsibility, which we have already seen with his liking and contract extension of Calum Chambers. Iwobi is also one player which the new boss seems be looking forward to working at Arsenal.
The winger returned late to the pre-season preparations with Mesut Ozil and Mohamed Elneny, featuring in starting line-up of second game on Singapore Tour against PSG which the Londoners won handsomely 5-1.
The statistics mentioned previously have a certain scope of improvement making Alex Iwobi a better player under the new head coach, where he crosses and passes more accurately and also become more clinical in front of goal. Only time will tell whether Emery would like to develop him into a quality winger if they fail to sign one before the Transfer- deadline day.
Almost time for our second match in Singapore ??
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 28, 2018
Though it’ll still be a while before the fans start to sing the name of “Alex Iwobi” once again, there is still a lot of hope and potential in the young winger. [ajax_load_more post_type=”post” posts_per_page=”2″ category=”arsenal” max_pages=”2″]