Alex Iwobi says he approaches each Arsenal first team appearance like it could be his last as he looks to earn the trust and respect of his manager and teammates.
A graduate of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy, the 20-year-old burst onto the scene in October last year and has since become a regular fixture in Arsene Wenger’s starting lineup.
Reflecting on his rapid rise to prominence, which has seen him earn a new contract and play for his country, Iwobi also admitted that he’s exceeded even his own expectations.
“Honestly I didn’t expect to be where I am today,” Iwobi told Arsenal Player.
“I thought a long time ago that I’d be on loan and probably get experience there before having experience in the first team, but the fact that the boss trusted me to jump into the first team as quick as I did, I’m just grateful for it.
“The same way I was able to break into it is the same way that I take the chance now.
“I play like it’s almost like my last game, I treat it like it’s my last moment here, so I do my best and I always put 100 per cent into whatever I do.”
Recognising that life as a top footballer can be precarious, Iwobi also touched on how he tries to maintain his focus in a dog-eat-dog world.
“If you don’t do as well as you think you could’ve done, there’s other players, other international, great players, that can just step in,” he added.
“So you just have to take the chance all the time and do your best when the time comes.
“The big thing is you need to stay fit and always need to give it your all. I mean, you’ve got to have the right attitude, you’ve got to be mentally prepared for whatever happens.
“Not everything is going to be smooth sailing for you so you’ve got to be prepared for all conditions.”