Arsenal manager Unai Emery had these to say about Nigerian winger Alex Iwobi recently, who, after a stop-start campaign last season, is enjoying a solid opening to the new season for the Gunners. “His energy is important, so is his quality. He can improve. He can do better. He scored against Chelsea, I want him to be nearer the box, having chances to score more. He can. He is very young. He is improving. But also he has the ambition to do more.”
It has been a summer of change at the North London giants as club legend Arsene Wenger departed after a hugely impactful 22 years at the club. His tenure ended somewhat sadly after a failure to leave the club in a united, positive manner following years of decline, but he certainly had a huge impact on where Arsenal as a club are today, not least with bringing through an abundance of young talent such as Alex Iwobi, who have been successfully blooded into the Gunners first team after thriving at youth level and no doubt learning a great deal under such a respected manager in Wenger.
Iwobi’s form, though, took a noticeable dip last season and he was a bit-part player most of the campaign. Perhaps the pressure off and on the pitch, where there was a toxic atmosphere around the club, had an effect on him? Who knows, but the 22-year-old’s certainly back to his best this season under new boss Emery and is enjoying a sustained run in a side playing with the shackles off and a slightly different style under the Spaniard.
Arsenal, who are currently priced at 6/5 (Betway) to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, are enjoying their honeymoon period under Emery, with some fantastic attacking displays and an overall faster, more high-pressing game under the former PSG boss. Iwobi is one who has clearly benefited under a manager known for getting the best out of his teams, partly due to his strict approach when it comes to training and attention to detail around professionalism, but also because the pressure is lifted at Arsenal this season somewhat – certainly when compared to under Wenger – and the team seem to be enjoying playing for the badge once again.
Iwobi has also had a summer of growth at the World Cup, despite the obvious disappointment following the Super Eagles’ poor showing in Russia, but those experiences can only aid a young, hungry player like he is. The tricky winger continued his progression with a solid pre-season learning what’s required of him under his new manager and hasn’t looked back since.
With evident progress being shown so far this season from Alex Iwobi, it looks like he will only get better at Arsenal, especially if he keeps his place in a team aiming to win a trophy. The Gunners are currently priced at 10/1 to win the FA Cup, which represents fantastic value – especially if you use a Betway free bet, and 13/2 to win the Europa League – a competition Emery won in three successive seasons with Sevilla.
Iwobi, like Arsenal, is certainly one to keep an eye on this season as the Gunners aim to get back to challenging at the very highest level and closing the gap on their Premier League title rivals. Should they maintain their impressive start to the campaign under Unai Emery, a title win currently priced at 40/1, could be on the cards in the very near future for the club.
The future is looking bright for Arsenal, and Alex Iwobi.