After two impressive displays for Arsenal against Barcelona and Everton, including his first goal in a senior game, Alex Iwobi has attracted the interest of the English Football Association.
The 19 year-old has committed to playing for Nigeria, where he was born and whose national team was skippered by his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha. Iwobi is already in Nigeria preparing for an African Nations Cup qualifier against Egypt.
But he has represented England at under-16, 17 and 18 levels. He has also appeared for Nigeria in two friendlies at senior level. Fifa rules mean he wouldn’t be able to play for England if he plays for Nigeria in a competitive match.
It has been reported that the English FA have tried to reach Iwobi presumably to dissuade him from playing for Nigeria. But reports from Nigeria suggest that the youngster is not interested. He has said he is “fully committed to Nigeria” and focused on facing Egypt this weekend.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who brought Iwobi into the first team this season, said of young midfielder that has been at the club since he was 8 years old: ““I think he has chosen Nigeria and we have to respect that”.
England’s loss is looking like Nigeria’s gain.