Monday, March 6, 2017
The rise... and rise of Alex Iwobi - At Arsenal
Two years ago, Alex Iwobi was plying his trade with the Arsenal U-21 side coming off a fairly impressive pre-season, most thought he'd continue his development there, training with the first team frequently, getting some experience in the then Capital One Cup, if the draw was right.
Today, it's tough to envision Arsenal's best starting lineup without him.
As a graduate of the Arsenal Academy, Iwobi is one of the few Hale End products to make the grade at Arsenal in recent history. He joined the academy at the tender age of seven and was offered a scholarship in 2012. He first broke into regular youth team football with the U-18. In the 2012/13 season, primarily as a winger.
It's fascinating to consider that Iwobi flew under the radar for much of his Arsenal youth career, at least compared to his fellow top prospects. As recently, as the 13/14 season, similarly aged jack jebb was preferred to Iwobi in the youth set-up. The likes of Serge Gnabry and Chuba Akpom (both of whom have made first team appearances for the Gunners) were initially more heralded than Iwobi was.
As God may have it Iwobi began to surpass players in his same age group.
The 13/14 season was when Iwobi's stock began to rise. He was consistently a top performer when playing for the U-18s, U-19s and U-21 at the age of 17.
Iwobi, aged 20, a boyhood Gunners fan is living the dream of millions of Gunners all around the world playing for Arsenal.
He was giving his Arsenal debut in the 2015/2016 Emirates Cup and impressed the Arsenal Fans scoring against lyon at the champions league the same season.
After a run of impressive performances for Arsenal's youth teams, Iwobi was called up to the England U18's making one appearance before choosing to play for Nigeria his fatherland and made his international debut against Dr Cango in October 2015.
Iwobi's competitive club debut was in a league cup game against Sheffield Wednesday in October 2015 where the Gunners were beaten 3-0 by the owls.
Since then, he has been very impressive for the Gunners.
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger admits that Iwobi is one of the best product to come out from their youth team with the likes of Fabregas, Oxlaide Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and says that he (wenger) is going to play Iwobi so that he can have the opportunity to bring out his potentials and learn the rudiments of the game.
Many Gunner fans believe that Iwobi can become a world class player.