By James Agberebi:
Arsenal and Nigeria youngster, Alex Iwobi, has expressed hope that he will become a better player than his uncle Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha.
The 19-year-old made his first-team home debut against Sunderland in the FA Cup and has also featured in the Premier League and Champions League after impressing for the under-21s.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, Iwobi stated that being related with the former Nigerian international does not put him under pressure, instead he gets motivated by Okocha.
He also said his target is to impress manager, Arsene Wenger, in order to get more playing time.
“I grew up in a footballing environment,” Iwobi said. “My dad, my uncle and my whole family love football. I played with a local team with Chuba Akpom so I grew up with a footballing life.
“I see it helps me [to be related to Jay-Jay Okocha] and it gives me guidance, [it shows] what I need to work on and what I need advice on so it has helped me over the years. I don’t see it as pressure [to be related to him] but he is someone I look up to as motivation as I try to be better than him.
“I had a few doubts when I was younger, especially when I was 13 to 14 years old. I was questioning whether I was good enough at that age as I… had to work on a few things. I didn’t let it get to me but I stayed focused and try to prove to them why I should get another contract.
“It is very hard. You need to train well every day and you have to be in the boss’ eye and his mind all the time so that is what I’m trying to do all the time.
“I was just hoping to go out and learn but to play for Arsenal’s first team means so much [to me] because when I play I think about all I have done to get to where I am and I feel so happy to do it.
“I had a few chances like against Swansea where I came on and against Bayern Munich. I got to play 90 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday. I got a few chances and now I’m hoping to get some more. I don’t know what to expect nowadays but playing at the Allianz Arena with the world’s best players was just crazy.
“I’m taking it as it comes. You have to always be prepared as you never know when that chance will come.”