Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi is expected to miss the opening weeks of the 2016/17 season after he confirmed his desire to play for Nigeria in this summer’s Olympics.
The youngster has been a huge impact on the flanks for the Gunners recently, having scored two goals in as many Premier League games, as well as impressing in a Champions League debut against Barcelona.
There’s no doubt that his rise into a starting member of the first team has attracted attention, and the winger managed to earn his first international cap for Nigeria in the recent break.
And following his involvement with the national side, Iwobi is now turning his attention to representing his country in the football squad at Rio later this year.
I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Olympics and if I am invited, I will do my best to make a meaningful contribution.
I don’t have any regrets in opting to play for Nigeria. I will always do my best whenever I put on the colours of Nigeria.
I am very grateful to my team mates, the Nigeria Football Federation, coaches, the press & fans for the warm welcome to come home.
It’s heart-warming to see Iwobi come through the ranks and into such success with the national picture, and at the age of just 19 all he’s interested in doing is playing football.
However, his decision to join the Olympic squad will not only mean he misses the entire pre-season tour in America this year, but also the opening month of the Premier League.
It of course is not a major loss for Arsenal’s line-up situation, but it will affect the development of the youngster ahead of what could be a huge season for the Nigerian.
Arsene Wenger can still take some positives from Iwobi’s situation after his country failed to make it into the upcoming African Cup of Nations, meaning he won’t have to miss another months action.
It was recently reported that Iwobi has secured a huge new contract with the Gunners, sealing a five-year deal that will see his wages rise to £30,000 a week.
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