Nigeria’s recent draw with Egypt means Alex Iwobi won’t be going to the African Cup of Nations in January, however, the 19-year-old could feature for the Super Eagles at this summer’s Olympics in Rio.
Having committed his international future to the country of his birth, the midfielder is now eligible to play for Samson Siasia’s under-23 squad when they head to South America in August for the 16-team tournament.
Iwobi is eager to be included, as he told Goal.com after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Watford.
“It was a massive disappointment for the team that we did not qualify for the forthcoming Africa Cup Nations.
“I am looking forward to the forthcoming Olympics and if I am invited, I will do my best to make a meaningful contribution.
“I believe that Nigeria has a crop of excellent players who are capable of doing great things at the Olympics. Coach Samson Siasia deserves a lot of praise for securing a place for the nation at the Olympics.
“I do not have any regrets whatsoever in opting to play for Nigeria and will always do my best whenever I put on the green white green colours of Nigeria. I hope to be involved in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers too.
“I am very grateful to my teammates, the Nigeria Football Federation, coaches, the press and fans for the warm welcome I received following my decision to come home.
“Nigeria is a great footballing nation and deserves to assume her rightful place in Africa and world football and I am keen to be part of a team that achieves this goal.”
Nigeria boast a proud Olympics football record, winning gold at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and finishing as runners-up in Beijing in 2008.
The Rio Olympics run from 3-20 August meaning Iwobi would miss out on Arsenal’s pre-season preparations, including the fixtures in California, as well as the start of the 2016/17 campaign.