So it seems more than likely that Alex Iwobi will be in Arsenal’s starting XI next season, and most certainly in the early stages while Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and the other Gunners are recovering from their extended holidays after their tournament exertions this summer.
Iwobi was picked to play for the Nigerian team in the Olympics, and was hopeful of going far in the tournament, but it now appears that Arsenal have blocked his participation so that the youngster will be available to start the season with Arsenal. It is telling that Wenger has allowed our new signing Takuma Asone to play for Japan, which indicates he will not be rushedinto the squad.
His agent, Emeka Obasi explained the situation regarding Iwobi. “We held talks with Arsenal to see if it would be possible but, in the end, the decision has been made and we just have to move on from it,” Obasi said.
“Of course I think Alex would have gained a lot from a competition where the likes of Barcelona’s Neymar want to play in. I’m sure the standard will be high and as I said Alex was keen to go, but it’s not his decision to make.”
Nigeria’s U23 coach Samson Siasia also fully understand’s that it could be to Iwobi’s advantage to concentrate on his Arsenal career at the moment. “He’s a smart, passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated boy but the fact that it’s not a Fifa tournament Arsenal are within their rights to stop him.
“Alex has a chance to establish himself in the Arsenal first team and if he could manage that this season then it will outweigh the potential gold medal.
“His father [Chuka Iwobi] has made strong efforts, the boy has done his bit as well to be with us but Arsenal pays his wages and makes the calls.”
Let’s hope that Iwobi continues his improvement from the last campaign, when he was the only breath of fresh air in a very depressing end of season….