Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Alex Iwobi’s decision to play for Nigeria and not England is a loss to the Three Lions of England. 19 year old Iwobi has scored in his last two games for Arsenal and in their last match against Watford scored a goals and assisted another, leaving bigger players like Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell on the bench.
England persuaded Iwobi and his family to play for them after evaluating his talent and enormous potential but the attacker, who is also nephew to Austin Jay Jay Okocha opted to play for the country of his birth- Nigeria.
“Is he a loss for England? Yes,” Wenger said.
“We have values in our club that are maybe not rated always, but one of them is to give a chance to young people and educate them. “Every year we bring players out and not many can say that. I’m happy Alex is one of them.”
Wenger concedes that Iwobi’s rapid development has been surprising to witness, but says the forward who made his competitive debut for Nigeria during the lastinternational break has been working on his skills all season long.
“The fans have seen many good players over the years and they know straight away when a player has something special, so they acknowledge that,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“You cannot cheat people. They’ve seen how quickly Alex’s improved and how well he’s played.
“It’s surprising how quickly he’s integrated into our game. He’s worked with us since the start of the season and he has grown, gained confidence and when he came in he had an impact straight away.
“That’s benefited from the fact that he knows everybody and they trust him as well. I didn’t expect that level of efficiency or impact on the scoresheet.”