The 22 year-old Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi has just signed a new contract with the Gunners and is keen to become one of our all-time greats like his hero Thierry Henry. The Nigerian international has been with Arsenal since he was six years old and had a schoolboy scholarship, before going on to join up with the Under 18’s at London Colney. He explained that Henry’s arrival as Youth team coach gave him the extra confidence to kick on to become a first-team player.
“Obviously when I first arrived I wasn’t really starting under-18s games,” Iwobi said. “I wasn’t even playing in the FA Youth Cup much until my second year. My family and friends always gave me the belief, saying that I had to just prove myself and show my ability and that I would make it to the top. If you have that belief and confidence, you always do well.
“But then I met one of my biggest heroes and my confidence went through the roof. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that Thierry Henry was going to come and coach us, and I will always remember this one thing he said. He would always say that a lot of people play well, but if you haven’t impacted the game or done something that people recognise, then you really go unnoticed. Basically for an attacking player, you have to get that goal or you have to get that assist.
“People would be like, ‘What did Alex do in that game?’ I would score a goal or get an assist, that was the main thing for me. I was happy and excited to work with him because he’s a legend at Arsenal and because of the way he used to get his goals, the way he used to play, the way he used to create goals or score solo goals. It was just an honour to work with him.
Really Pleased To Extend My Contract & Commit My Future To This Special Club. From Under 6 To BIG17 So Many People Have Helped Me. Thank You. Grateful To Our New Manager For The Faith Shown In Me & Our Fans For The Love, Support & Patience. Excited For 18/19 🙏🏽❤️ #Gunners pic.twitter.com/CUaEbpEv2B
— Alexander Iwobi (@alexiwobi) August 3, 2018
“At the end of that season I was training with the first team quite a bit and played a couple of cup games, so I was getting used to training with them. When I went to Singapore with them in the summer of 2015, I knew I had the opportunity to break into the first team but I never expected to play as much as I did during my first season.”
Iwobi is still young and has his best years in front of him, and we should all get behind him and help him to become a star in his own right. He is far from being the finished product, but w should remember that Henry himself was struggling on the wing at Jeventus when he was the same age as Iwobi is now. And the rest, as they say, is history!