Arsenal’s most famous Nigerian star, Nwankwo Kanu, has backed young compatriot Alex Iwobi ‘to make his mark’ at football’s highest level after a string of eye-catching performances this season.
The ‘Invincible’ – who played much of his international career alongside Iwobi’s uncle, Jay-Jay Okocha – says working with Arsene Wenger will help the 19-year-old build on his potential to become ‘the star Nigeria are looking for’.
“He is a young lad and he has all it takes,” Kanu told Arsenal Player last week. “He just needs to work hard and keep his head down and keep pushing so he gets his chance.
“Football is all about chances and when you have the opportunity you have to grab it. I believe he is going to make his mark. He is from Nigeria and we all support him and love him.
“He is the star we are looking for. He is going to learn a lot from Arsène Wenger and the club he is playing for – we need him to bring that back home and make sure he can help the national team.
“[He just needs to] keep his head down and not get carried away with a lot of things. Every day you train, you have to train on your weaknesses. With your strengths, you know them so you have to use them in the game.”
Iwobi was one of Arsenal’s bright sparks in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Hull at the weekend, racking up his ninth appearance of the season in a central midfield role just behind Theo Walcott.
Born in Lagos the teenager featured for England’s under-16, 17 and 18 sides before switching allegiance to Nigeria for whom he made his full debut last October. Given his impressive form, there’s a good chance Sunday Oliseh will select Iwobi for next month’s African Cup of Nations qualifier with Mohamed Elneny’s Egypt.
Looks an absolute gem!
kanu knows what he is talking about because he has been there himself, but i personally like the lad because he puts in a good shift when called upon and looks safe and competent technically on the ball and more importantly, seem to have his feet firmly on the ground and not letting any of the developing hype about him go to his head. He might not have the flash and dazz of a jeff, zelalem, Dan or maitland-niles, but i.m.o. he is an exciting talent, in his own quiet and assured ways nonetheless, and will be one of those… Read more »
I remember how his uncle Okocha used to terrorize us during his Bolton days. He was one player I wished played for Arsenal
Left poor Ray Parlour looking at the clouds spinning in circles
lol….i remember that, and boy, did the media have fun the following day
“So good they named him twice”
Iwobi > Theo on current form.
KANU BELIEVE IT *Martin Tyler voice*
I miss those days. When we can beat the fuck out of anyone we want to. With beautiful football to boot. Not many Chelsea fans will know of that game though, for them the EPL starts in 2005.
I enjoy such impromptu Chelsea digs because they deserve far worse, the cunts. .. Bravo.
Out of context comment, my apologies.
What´s going on with Zelalem?
He made some killer games a couple pre-seasons ago and did really well as a sub in a FA/Carling-cup game.
I was so excited about him, but haven´t heard anything for a year now. What´s going on?
Bulking up in the Scottish league with rangers. i have read good reviews about him. seems to be getting invaluable game time. I think he will be loaned to a premier league next year.
Scottish 1st Division to the premier league seems like a bit of a leap – I doubt he’d get much game time. Championship probably more likely.
16 apps for Rangers in Scottish Championship this season. Think he’s doing nicely there.
It’s a shame Blogs didn’t see it fit to tag Kanu’s hat-trick at Chelsea along with this…KANU Believe It?!
I believe Iwobi would be a bright start in Arsenal. He has started showing glimpses of a talented player.
Jay Jay so good was named twice hope Iwobi takes after his Uncle and make us (Nigerians) proud like Kanu in fact Kanu was the main reason I startted supporting arsenal in 99
Iwobi is a bright future star. He has already started showing the glimpses of a start.
Kanu can feel the force awakening.
Really hope the African cup is rescheduled till the end of the playing season or if they all make it we could be missing a few players in January
Good for us…..
As a member of a rival secondary school, I must say I hated his uncle Jay Jay Okocha those days. Anytime we have a match against them, he would proceed to humiliate our entire midfield and defence! So much that the pre game instruction from our clueless school football coach was “Break his leg”. He, being a streetwise footballer, could read our intentions and took extra joy in making us look very foolish while chasing shadows. It took his debut for Nigeria for me to finally point out the “bastard” who has always tormented my school to my dad. He… Read more »
That’s a brilliant story. How many others among us can say they played against a Premier League footballer in our youth?
(In my youth, I did play with a lad who went on to represent Canada in our one and only World Cup appearance, but I’ll be the first to admit no-one on that Canada squad was anywhere near PL quality.)
The young lad has a bright fufure at Arsenal , if only he could put his head down and learn as Kanu said.