Alex Iwobi: Why the starlet could prove key to Arsenal’s title pursuit

Twenty year old Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi has said that he wants to win the English Premier League and the Champions League titles with Arsenal.

Most people who have spent some time betting on soccer would agree that Iwobi’s biggest obstacle to winning a major championship with Arsenal is that he would have to win it in spite of Arsenal.

If he were to set his sights on an FA Cup, now that would be a whole lot more achievable.



“Personally, I want to win the Premier League. That would be an amazing feeling,” Iwobi told BBCNewsbeat. “But for the club the most important one has got to be the Champions League. That’s the big one, and to win that would be like a dream come true.”

Arsenal has qualified for 17 straight UEFA Champion League tournaments since 2000 (and 19 times overall), but the farthest they have gone is the semifinals of the 2008-09 edition, where they lost to Manchester 1-4 (aggregate score).

Moreover, Arsenal has won the Premier League three times under long-standing manager Arsene Wenger, but the last one was the undefeated 2003-04 season about a dozen of years ago.

Conversely, Arsenal has won the FA Cup a (shared) record 15 times, and as recently as 2014-15. Make no mistake; Arsenal is always a contender – but you know what they say about bridesmaids and brides.

Therefore, it would not only be a “dream come true” for Iwobi to win either the Premier League or the Champions League with Arsenal; it would almost be an upset for people betting on soccer.


Has Wenger lost his touch?

Not according to Iwobi, who says the Frenchman is a great manager due to the good advice he provides his players.

One should certainly hope that.

“At the moment, because I’m not really the best at defending, he says I need to treat it how I treat attacking,” the Nigerian international said. Well, that’s a piece of advice that could surely backfire, to say the least.

Arsenal finished second in the English Premier 2015-16 season with 20 wins, 11 draws, 3 losses, 65 goals scored and 36 goals against, and 71 points – 10 points behind champions Leicester City.

Additionally, Arsenal was eliminated in the round of 16 stage of the Champions League by Barcelona.

French striker Olivier Giroud was the team’s leading scorer with 24 goals (16 in the Premier League).

This year, Arsenal currently stands at third place of the league table with 4 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss, 15 goals in favor and 7 against, and 13 points – 5 points behind leader Manchester City.


Rising star

Alex Iwobi joined Arsenal in 2013 but made his debut in 2015. He has appeared in 17 Premier League matches and scored two goals.

Iwobi has also made five appearances in the FA Cup.

In addition to that, he has played with the Nigerian national team on six occasions between 2015 and 2016.


This article is from sports journalist and professional writer John Hawthorne.

Follow John on Twitter @johnhawthorne82

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