With the transfer deadline looming, it’s not unusual for Arsenal to send some young players out on loan in the second half of the season.
Ordinarily, Alex Iwobi – given his relative inexperience and age – might be a candidate for such a move, but having impressed against Burnley, and done well in his appearances so far this season, it seems Arsene Wenger is keen to keep the 19 year old around.
With reported setbacks for Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere, and with Theo Walcott struggling for form, Iwobi provides Wenger with another option in his squad, and the Arsenal manager has been impressed with what he’s seen so far this season.
“His decision-making is spot on and his awareness is very interesting,” he said. “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.”
And Wenger seems likely to keep him with the squad for the rest of the season.
“I have a hesitation about loaning him because I think this guy could very quickly play,” he continued.
“I think it would help him a lot to see the quality of the players around him. He can play on the left, on the right, behind the striker, even No9.
“He scores goals in training. He’s one who, when he was a kid, could pass you by if you don’t watch well in training but I personally like this game.”
Iwobi caught the eye in the Emirates Cup last summer, and was kept around when Chuba Akpom was loaned to Hull. So far he’s made 8 appearances, playing in every tournament Arsenal have been involved in.
We like the look of him too, he’s clearly got some talent, and hopefully we’ll see more of it before the season’s out.