Alex Iwobi: How I TWICE almost left Arsenal

Alex Iwobi has revealed he was TWICE almost dumped by Arsenal before turning pro.

Iwobi graduated through the ranks at Hale End but his path was far from smooth.

“I was almost released at 14, again at 16 and just about got a professional contract after that,” he told the London Evening Standard.

“Especially at 14, I thought I was very close to not making it. It was stressful as I was going through school, trying to balance that and make sure I was still signed for Arsenal. It was really difficult for me.

“We usually found out in December who might be kept on but I kept on getting the question ‘is he good enough?’ So they extended it to see if I could do something and it went to March and then April. Luckily I did enough.

“At 16 I got the option to leave but I always felt at home at Arsenal and that was where I wanted to be. At 16, there were a lot of good players, a few internationals in the team at a young age so it was difficult for me to stand out in the games. They always want the best and I wasn’t really up there at that age. The fact that I kept getting chances makes me feel lucky.”