‘Promising Talent’ Iwobi Not for Loan, Says Wenger

Alex Iwobi is not among players Arsene Wenger is lining up for loan so far this summer.

Iwobi was left “in shock” after scoring his first goal in an appearance for Arsenal’s first team on Saturday.

“I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock,” the 19-year-old said, about his fine strike in the Gunners’ 6-0 rout of Olympique Lyon in the Emirates Cup.

“I didn’t know what to do or how to celebrate but I enjoyed it! I have dreamt about it so many times but I never thought it could feel as good as this.”

He smashed an Aaron Ramsey cross into the roof of the French Ligue 1 club net on 35 minutes and could have doubled his tally for the day two minutes later, except for the linesman’s flag for offside.

The forward was delighted with the team’s six-star performance, more so about the friendly atmosphere around the stadium.

Iwobi Celebrates Scoring His First Goal for Arsenal against Lyon in Emirates Cup. Image: Arsenal via Getty.
Iwobi Celebrates Scoring His First Goal for Arsenal against Lyon in Emirates Cup. Image: Arsenal via Getty.

“My family, my friends, my close friends even my uncle was here today so I was glad to get a goal for them,’ he said.

The nephew of legendary Nigerian midfielder, Austin ‘jay jay’ Okocha; Iwobi’s application for a switch of allegiance to the native country of his parents is under consideration by Fifa.

He has trained with the Nigeria U-23 national side already, pending Fifa’s verdict before his long overdue debut.

Manager Arsene Wenger, who has, as well, expressed his satisfaction about Iwobi’s performance against Lyon, says the player will not be going out on loan.

“At the moment Alex Iwobi will be staying with us but for the others we have to decide do they need the experience to play somewhere on a regular basis, to finish their education,” the Frenchman disclosed at his post-game press briefing.

“It is always difficult to decide because they go out and they don’t play they waste that time because here they practice with top-level players. So that’s always very sensitive.”

Olivier Giroud, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Santi Carzola completed the emphatic win.

Another Nigerian youngster Chuba Akpom impressed for the north London side against Singapore Select XI last week, when he scored a hat-trick in another pre-season friendly.