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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 February 2021

‘Very clever’ Alex Iwobi to flourish at Arsenal after solid Cup display, says Arsene Wenger

The attacking midfielder, nephew of seven-time Nigerian footballer of the year Jay-Jay Okocha, had key passes in the build up for both Arsenal goals in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup fourth round victory over Burnley.
Alex Iwobi, left, of Arsenal controls the ball under pressure of David Jones of Burnley during their FA Cup Fourth Round match at Emirates Stadium on January 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Alex Iwobi, left, of Arsenal controls the ball under pressure of David Jones of Burnley during their FA Cup Fourth Round match at Emirates Stadium on January 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger is confident Alex Iwobi can flourish at Arsenal after the 19-year-old repaid his manager’s faith in him by impressing on his third start for the club in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup fourth round victory over Burnley.

The attacking midfielder, nephew of seven-time Nigerian footballer of the year Jay-Jay Okocha, rounded out a solid display by laying on key passes in the build up for both Arsenal goals against their Championship (second tier) opponents.

Read more: Alexis Sanchez ‘you could see physically is ready’ for Arsenal push, says Arsene Wenger

Wenger said he was glad he persevered with Iwobi, who has come off the bench four times in the Premier League this season, after recognising the Nigeria international’s raw talent a few years ago.

“He is a boy who, two years ago, not many would have said he (will make it). You see he develops very well because he’s very clever,” Wenger told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).

“I like his game, I like the timing of his decision making and the quality of his decision making. He always turns where you want him to turn and he plays the ball where you want him to play the ball. He’s very interesting.”

The Gunners, who were drawn at home to Hull City in the fifth round, are third in the league, three points behind leaders Leicester City after 23 games.

Arsenal will hope to make ground on Claudio Ranieri’s charges when they host eighth-placed Southampton in the league on Tuesday with Leicester welcoming Liverpool at the same time.

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Published: February 1, 2016 04:00 AM