Our Man Crush This Week: Alex Iwobi #OMCM

Alexander Chuka Iwobi, born May 3rd 1996 in Lagos before moving to England at the age of four. He is the nephew of former professional footballer Jay-Jay Okocha.

Alex Iwobi

Iwobi joined Arsenal while still at primary school, and was first involved in a first-team match as an unused substitute in a League Cup match against West Bromwich Albion on 25 September 2013. He signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal in October 2015.

On 27 October 2015, Iwobi made his first-team debut for the club, starting in a 3–0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the Round of 16 of the League Cup. He made his Premier League debut four days later in a 3–0 win against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, as a stoppage time substitute for Mesut Özil. Iwobi made his Champions League debut as an 85th-minute substitute in a 5–1 defeat against Bayern Munich. Iwobi started in the first team for the 2015–16 FA Cup 3rd and 4th round home wins against Sunderland and Burnley respectively.

After getting a first Champions League start in a 3–1 away defeat to Barcelona, Iwobi went on to score two goals in his first two Premier League starts in wins against Everton, and Watford, respectively.

In the following season Iwobi changed his squad number from 45 to 17. This was due to Chilean forward Alexis Sánchez taking up the newly vacated number 7 from the departing Tomáš Rosický.

Iwobi went on to feature throughout Arsenal’s victorious FA Cup campaign of 2016–17. As so he earned a winners medal as being part of the squad that beat Chelsea by 2 goals to 1 in the final of such. He achieved further success with Arsenal in the 2017 Community Shield, in which Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalties.

Iwobi started as a youth international for England, with whom he won the Victory Shield of 2011. Iwobi went on though to play for Nigeria. He made his senior debut for the Super Eagles on 8 October 2015, replacing Ahmed Musa in the 57th minute of a 2–0 friendly defeat to DR Congo in Visé, Belgium.

He was selected by Nigeria for their 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He was not a part of the 18-man final squad.

In August 2017 Iwobi pulled out of Nigeria’s squad for that month’s World Cup qualifiers due to injury. On October 7, 2017, Iwobi scored for Nigeria in a 1-0 win over Zambia to help Super Eagles book a 2018 World Cup ticket.

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