Nigeria have named a provisional 35-man squad for the Olympics this summer, and have included the likes of Alex Iwobi, Jon Obi Mikel and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The competition is set to run between August 4 and August 20, meaning any Premier League players inclusion would mean they miss much of pre-season in preparation for the tournament, as well as the opening weeks of the campaign should his side reach the latter stages.
Rumour has it Iheanacho has agreed to stay with his club in hope of a more integral role in Man City’s first-team this season, with new boss Pep Guardiola taking over the side from July 1.
Arsenal’s Iwobi has already stated he would like to participate in the tournament however, but would still need permission from Arsene Wenger to be away from the squad.
The winger enjoyed a hugely impressive breakthrough year in the Gunners’ first team last term, displacing Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to earn a regular starting place.
Iwobi was narrowly denied a Arsenal Player of the Month award to fellow African Mohamed Elneny, for his string of consistent displays in the Premier League.
The Arsenal youth product previously played for England at youth level, but decided to switch allegiance to Nigeria in March, much to the dissatisfaction of the English set-up.
Iwobi made 11 appearances for England youth sides from Under-16 level up to the Under-18’s, before deciding his heart was in playing for the country of his birth.
He now looks likely to feature for Nigeria in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with his place in the final 18 of the squad highly likely following his displays in the past 12 months.
How much of a loss is Iwobi to our preparation for the upcoming season? Could it stunt his progress at Arsenal?