By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi should be playing for England’s Three Lions and not the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said.
Iwobi was in action for Arsenal on Saturday in their FA Cup fourth round tie against Burnley and Wenger was impressed with the 19-year-old’s performance and believes he is a talent that got away from England’s grasps.
Iwobi pledged his future to Nigeria and has been capped twice by Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh after representing England at U-16, U-17 and U-18 levels.
“I think he’s one England have missed because he plays for Nigeria now,” Wenger told the Guardian. “He should play for England. I don’t think he has played in a competitive game for Nigeria.”
Wenger then revealed he deliberately stopped Iwobi from representing Nigeria last year at the U-23 level.
He added: “I remember I turned him down for an U-23 tournament. But then Nigeria called him up for the first team to force him to go.
“I think he has shown everybody that he is a good football player, again. I find him personally very interesting.”
Wenger went on to praise the youngster, who was brilliant against Burnley on Saturday.
It was Iwobi’s third start and eighth appearance for the club – all of them this season – and Wenger gave a glowing assessment of his game.
“His decision-making is spot on and his awareness is very interesting,” Wenger added. “He’s a boy who, two years ago, not many would have said: ‘This will be.’ He develops very well. He’s very clever. I like the timing 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.”