Alex Iwobi Nigeria.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Alex Iwobi's decision to play for Nigeria and not England is a loss to the Three Lions of England. 19 year old Iwobi has scored in his last two games for Arsenal and in their last match against Watford scored a goals and assisted another, leaving bigger players like Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell on the bench.
England persuaded Iwobi and his family to play for them after evaluating his talent and enormous potential but the attacker, who is also nephew to Austin Jay Jay Okocha opted to play for the country of his birth- Nigeria.
Unfortunately Nigeria itself has not taken good advantage of Iwobi electing to play for them and not England.He was down with food poisoning during preparations for the first leg of the important Nigeria Egypt AFCON 2017 qualifying game,so i can excuse the fact that he was only played for 10 minutes or thereabouts.But in the second leg he should have started the game especially with Odion Ighalo misfiring.Needless to say,Nigeria lost the game by a single goal and are now out of the AFCON 2017.An unthinkable fact,2 years in a row for a country such as Nigeria.
Reading how much Arsene Wenger values the player further shows what a great mistake that call was.When asked if Iwobi was a loss to England,the Arsenal manager replied....
“Is he a loss for England? Yes,” Wenger said.
“We have values in our club that are maybe not rated always, but one of them is to give a chance to young people and educate them. “Every year we bring players out and not many can say that. I’m happy Alex is one of them.”
Wenger concedes that Iwobi's rapid development has been surprising to witness, but says the forward who made his competitive debut for Nigeria during the last international break has been working on his skills all season long.
|Alex Iwobi scores for Arsenal.|
"The fans have seen many good players over the years and they know straight away when a player has something special, so they acknowledge that," Wenger told Arsenal Player.
"You cannot cheat people. They've seen how quickly Alex's improved and how well he's played.
"It's surprising how quickly he's integrated into our game. He's worked with us since the start of the season and he has grown, gained confidence and when he came in he had an impact straight away.
"That's benefited from the fact that he knows everybody and they trust him as well. I didn't expect that level of efficiency or impact on the score sheet."
Iwobi was born in Lagos but left for England at the age of 4.
Alex Iwobi FIFA 16