Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi is among Premier League’s budding stars

alex-iwobi

There is no shortage when discussing talented, young Premier League players. Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford are regularly praised for their high level of play, and rightfully so; however, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi should also soon be considered a budding star as well.

No, the 20-year-old winger is not necessarily known for his scoring ability, and his playing style isn’t exactly flashy (although this backheel assist was pretty nice), but Iwobi just does his job. He is a smart player that does not try to do more than he is capable of. Not overwhelmingly fast nor a world-class finisher, Iwobi does, however, possess fantastic vision and dribbling abilities. In fact, the youngster is currently Arsenal’s Premier League leader in assists (3).

Iwobi joined the Gunners at the age of eight, and although he has progressed nicely through the club’s youth ranks, he wasn’t exactly always an extremely highly-rated player. His U-21 teammates Chuba Akpom, Serge Gnabry, Hector Bellerin, Krystian Bielik, Dan Crowley, Thomas Eisfeld, Ryo Miyaichi, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Jon Toral were all thought to be bigger prospects than Iwobi at some point.

While Iwobi has flown somewhat under the radar during his excursion to the senior Arsenal team, he has arrived on the scene without disappointment. As a 19-year-old, the winger featured against Bayern Munich and Barcelona in Champions League play (and didn’t appear out of place), and even scored goals in each of his first two Premier League starts.

The midfielder’s slick passing and creative soccer mind make him wonderfully suited for the Gunners. With Arsenal’s attractive “Wenger ball” style of play, Iwobi has also flourished due to his deft decision making in tight spaces. His one-touch passing and calmness when surrounded by defenders make Iwobi seem much more experienced & mature than he actually is. While he has only made 17 total Premier League appearances so far, Iwobi’s numbers are fairly impressive.

premier-league-stats

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Iwobi has chosen to represent in native country over England. “I’m very proud to represent Nigeria,” claimed the 20-year-old, “but I would like to say thank you to England for the chance they gave me, it was a difficult decision. The love Nigeria showed me, when I played for them in a friendly, the fans were just crazy. The fans almost eat you up because they love you so much. I’m enjoying playing for them.”

While England have missed out on the chance for the talented youngster to play for them, Arsenal awarded Iwobi with a new long-term contract last October. The deal won’t reportedly expire until the summer of 2020. Although the Gunners nailed down one of their prized young players to a fresh contract, don’t be surprised if manager Arsene Wenger hands the winger another improved pay raise soon if he continues to shine.

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