The Nigeria manager who gave Alex Iwobi his chance with the national team has admitted that even he is surprised by the player’s rapid rise at Arsenal.
The Arsenal winger has gone from playing for the academy side to being a regular in the starting XI for the senior side in the space of a year, and former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia believes he is one of the best young players in the world.
Despite having played for the Three Lions at youth level, Iwobi elected to star for his country of birth, where he is also following in the footsteps of his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha.
Siasia said, as reported by African Football: “When I first saw him, he had good touches but being his first time in Nigeria after a long while, you could not see the best of him.
“We needed him to understand the kind of system in Nigeria and now see what he has turned out to be – one of the best young players in the world. I am amazed with the rapid growth of Alex.
“It has been a great transition for him. He is now a star at Arsenal playing with a lot of confidence. Two years ago, nobody knew who he was as he was playing in the Arsenal second team.”
Although Arsene Wenger didn’t give Iwobi permission to go to the Rio Olympics, he has now played seven games for his country and has featured in nine of the Gunners first 11 league games.
After starting in the Super Eagles 3-1 win against Algeria, Iwobi will return to domestic action on Saturday, with Arsenal travelling to Old Trafford to face Jose Mourinho’s Man United.
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