Wenger Tips Akpom, Iwobi For Emirates Cup

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has heaped plaudits on Nigerian-born Chuba Akpom and Alex Iwobi and has tipped them to play in the Emirates Cup this weekend.

Iwobi, the nephew of former Super Eagles midfielder and captain Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, played in Arsenal’s pre-season game against a Singapore Select XI and impressed his manager in the 4-0 rout in which Chuba Akpom scored a hattrick.

Now Wenger believes the youngster who was billed to play for the Nigerian U-23 side but will now wait for a chance to feature in the Super Eagles after representing England at youth levels fits into the way the Gunners play.

The Frenchman, as expected, also hinted of the involvement of Chuba Akpom in the two Emirates Cup games against Olympique Lyon and Wolfsburg.

“The first name that comes to mind [to play] is certainly Chuba Akpom because he has done well on tour,” Wenger told the Arsenal website.

“Maybe two or three more will feature, certainly Alex Iwobi will be very close to making the team for these games as well.

“I like [Iwobi’s] team attitude, his movement. We have a game based on movement and speed, and he integrates that very well.”

Wenger added: “He has good power and is usually efficient – he scores goals a lot – and he had two good chances against Singapore. He missed them but usually he is capable of scoring.”

Arsenal play against Lyon on Saturday and face German side Wolfsburg the next day.

Both games will kick off at 4.20pm Nigerian time.

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