Iwobi: Nigerian fans shouted ‘Arsenal’ at me
Alex Iwobi said the popularity of Arsenal in Nigeria is such that when he made his debut against Egypt, fans just shouted the name of the club at him.
The 20-year-old chose Nigeria over England having been overlooked at youth level by the FA for a number of years, and is now establishing himself as a regular on the international stage.
He reflected on his debut, saying: “When I got to come on against Egypt, I saw love they have for the game.
“They just shouted ‘Arsenal’. Even though they knew my name, they just shouted Arsenal when I was coming on to the pitch, it was actually funny!
“It’s amazing the support they have for the club. They’re all very passionate for football and their favourite league is definitely the Premier League.”
And Iwobi hailed his uncle, JayJay Okocha, for being a positive influence on his career thus far.
“He was a big figure in Africa, as well in Nigeria,” he said. “He’s always been my idol. He doesn’t only help me on the pitch, he also helps me off the pitch, which is a key thing for me.”
Iwobi has made 12 appearances for the Gunners this season, and although he’s yet to get off the goalscoring mark, he has three assists to his name.