As always, Arsenal have many promising youngsters coming through from our expensively assembled academy and the latest to be given a chance to impress in the first team is Alex Iwobi, who replaced Theo Walcott for the last 20 minutes of the 0-0 draw against Stoke.
The young Nigerian caught Wenger’s eye when he scored 9 goals in the last 9 Under21 games last season and joined the first team in pre-season. He has made two Cup starts this season and this was his fourth appearance as a sub in the League so it looks like Wenger is slowly introducing him to the top tier.
Mikel Arteta has also been very impressed with the 19 year-old and is tipping him for a bright future. “You can see the change in his confidence after being given some minutes in the first team,” Arteta said on Arsenal.com. “The Stoke game was a good example of that. He came on and had an impact straight away. His decision-making was excellent and the game didn’t run quicker than him.
“To do that against a tough team in a difficult atmosphere tells you he is improving and moving forwards.”
“I was surprised he could play in central midfield as well,” Mikel continued. “He is versatile and that’s a massive attribute because forwards don’t normally have that 360 vision that you need in midfield.
“Alex is capable of reading the game well, understanding his positioning and his body shape when he plays.
“That’s fairly unusual for a player who plays on the wing or up front. That will be important for his development.”
I think it is fairly certain that Iwobi will be starting next weeks FA Cup match against Burnley, and if he carries on impressing Le Prof then he could become a regular starter next season….
Check out all his goals for the Under 21s from last season. He is certainly not shy!
And here is his performance against Sunderland in the FA Cup earlier this month…