Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi has been named in Nigeria’s provisional squad for the Olympics, but it remains to be seen whether the 20-year-old will actually be participating at the showpiece event in Rio, with reports indicating that Arsenal would prefer for the youngster to remain with the club.
The Olympic football tournament takes place from August 3rd to 20th, meaning that Iwobi would miss the commencement of the Premier League season if he was to represent his country this summer.
It is testament to the fine progress that Iwobi has made that his potential inclusion at the Olympics is even an issue at all. Were he just a member of Arsenal’s U21 squad, the club would surely have no qualms about sanctioning his participation.
However, following his development last season, Iwobi is now seen as a key player in the Arsenal first-team, with the prospect having featured prominently for Arsene Wenger’s side in the closing stages of the campaign.
It isn’t clear whether he will be able to hold down a place in the starting line-up this season, particularly now that Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are back from injury, but Wenger has much faith in Iwobi, as demonstrated by the fact that he was frequently selected ahead of Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell last campaign.
Taking part in the Olympics would undoubtedly be an excellent experience for Iwobi- it would enable him to sample different styles of football in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere.
However, representing his country would cause his club season to get off to a slow start, and it may well prove difficult for Iwobi to force his way back into the team in the short term if his replacement enjoys a positive start to the campaign, while he would inevitably require time to recover physically after the tournament.
In that respect, whether Iwobi remains with Arsenal this summer could have far-reaching consequences.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
Let him go. Its not like he’s Koscielny or something.
He will be back for match day 3…so he wont be missing much..May miss a part of preseason too..but i fear for Africa cup of nations if he got selected..
Nigeria did not qualify for AFCON 2017.
Because of this i think he will be going to olympic. Not ideal, but would be good experience for him personally
Well, he’ll be missing a pre-season with the squad, which won’t do him any good.
Whether it happens or not, if not on loan and has had a good pre-season, Serge Gnabry would be the ideal choice and it may make us realise again how special and talented he is and his his high potential. Who doesn’t remember him bossing against the spuds and getting a class assist for Cazorla in which Rosicky also scored a delightful chip.
Serge Gnabry and Oxlade-Chamberlain are unfortunately both players of the same mold/mould, and even more unfortunate is that both seem to have fitness issues and no consistency.
Symptom of youth, or call it what you want, but it really feels like Wenger’s made his choice, and Gnabry, unless he pulls off a miracle coq. heh.
He might want to reconsider participation if he wants to have kids. I understand trying to establish his national career and the risk of pulling out, however, health first I say.
There are not that many opportunities for players to take part in the Olympics so it would be unfair to take this away from Iwobi when he’s done a lot to help us last season. I understand that we play his wages to play for us but I think we should have enough cover to cope without him for a while. The more big-time experience he has, the better for us in the long run (if you can even consider Olympic football to be big-time..)
We all love to watch international competitions but they are unfair to clubs. Clubs pay big wages, develop the players and must let them go to these tournaments. If the player gets injured for long term with the national team, clubs may have to buy another player while the national team just selects another player from another club.
Football has the World Cup, it has no place in the Olympics. Likewise with tennis rugby etc. Olympics is about athletics.
If we can’t cope without Sanchez or Iwobi start of the coming season, then our title credentials should be questioned
If his good enough he will get his place back. if Iwobi is representing England this issue won’t come up. It’s means alot for us Africans to represent our countries at Oplympics and International competition… COYG
Just let him go, the experience will be invaluable, and will benefit both him and the club, and let’s be honest, if we can’t cope for 2-3 games without a 20 year old who only made his break through in a few games last season, then there is something seriously seriously wrong.
If Walcott is good in pre-season training, he should stay at the club and play.
Can’t agree with that, Wallcott’s had more than enough time to prove (and improve) himself, but it just hasn’t happened..
@Dialsquare is spot on! If we can’t cope without Iwobi for a couple of games then we’re in worse shape than I thought!
Barca are letting Neymar go and we’re here gripping about Iwobi? Puhleeeze!
Am sure Wenger is punishing Iwobi for choosing Nigeria ahead of England:period!dats very disappointing nd am beginning to drop some of my love nd respect for AW;it sounds nd seems sadistic cos permission wuld hve bin espress if Iwobi were representing England;if Neymar is allowed by Barca, wats stopping Iwobi in Arsenal?AW did it to Kanu nd is doing it now to Iwobi,is AW anti Africa nd Africans?its unfurtunate AW has disappointed millions of Nigerian Arsenal Fans!!!