Iwobi: I didn’t expect to be an Arsenal first-team player already

Alex Iwobi has spoken of his surprise at how quickly he has made his breakthrough into the Arsenal first-team given the number of options the Gunners have in attacking midfield.

The Nigeria international is the latest player to make the transition from the academy to the top-flight under Arsene Wenger; following in the footsteps of Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs and Francis Coquelin.

He told Arsenal Player: “Honestly I didn’t expect to be where I am today. I thought a long time ago that I’d be on loan and probably get experience there before having experience in the first team, but the fact that the boss trusted me to jump into the first team as quick as I did, I’m just grateful for it.

“The same way I was able to break into it is the same way that I take the chance now. I play like it’s almost like my last game, I treat it like it’s my last moment here, so I do my best and I always put 100 percent into whatever I do.”

The 20-year-old featured in eight of Arsenal’s last ten league games and his strong performances saw him make his debut for Nigeria. Iwobi has continued his excellent form this campaign and has played in nine of the Gunners 11 league games.

Nigeria’s national team has a lot of Premier League stars in Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Jon Obi Mikel and Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City.

Iwobi, whose uncle Jay-Jay Okocha starred for Bolton Wanderers, has shown that he is his own worst critic with posts showing his annoyance when the Arsenal star has missed the opportunity to score.