Arsene Wenger says Alex Iwobi is on the up again after a drop in form and believes the Nigeria international will benefit from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s arrival at Arsenal.
The 21-year-old midfielder was in and out of Arsenal’s Premier League matchday squads in the first half of the season and then found himself fined in January after pictures surfaced of him at a party 48 hours before the FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Despite disciplining Iwobi the boss kept has faith with his Academy graduate starting him in six consecutive matches. A goal against Crystal Palace and a couple of assists, including one last weekend against Everton, have hinted at a turnaround in fortunes. The boss now feels that the arrival of Mkhitaryan will spur him to even greater heights.
“It is a good example to follow because they have similar qualities,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“Alex Iwobi is at the moment moving forward. He has had the highs and lows this season, but that is a big part of his age.
“To see examples like Mkhitaryan, and the professionalism that this guy shows, will show him the way to behave and the way to play as well.”
The boss also believes there is long-term gain to be had from bouncing back from a short-term patch of poor form.
“When you want to make a big career you have to go through low points. What makes the career is how you respond to that, how much you learn from that process and how well you bounce back.
“That’s when you’re love and passion [for the game] and strength of character is tested and I’ve seen so many fail because they could not respond to that.”
You’ve done some reading, so here’s a reward…Iwobi in a new Nike advert. It’s quite fun.