Arsene Wenger has made it clear that he’s a fan of the way Alex Iwobi plays but the 21-year-old needs to work on his end product in order to become a ‘top-class’ footballer.
Wenger enjoys the way Iwobi plays and has praised his mobility. However, the boss also recognises that the 21-year-old has a long way to go before he reaches his potential.
“I like the fact that he can play in tight areas, that he turns the game forwards, that he’s very mobile,” Wenger said.
“We forget sometimes that Alex is still a very young player and that there’s a lot more to come from him. There must be a lot more to come from him because he has more personality in the game now.
“We expect him to be more efficient in the final third offensively, because you feel there are goals in there and assists too. They have to come out. Add that to the fact that he allows the team to play very well and he will be a top-class player.”
This is something that the forward has said he’s specifically working on so his manager’s comments are hardly going to come as a surprise.
“I need to work hard, create more goals and score more,” Iwobi told Arsenal’s official website back in May.
“I’ve been trying to do that in training and hopefully get back in the team. So I’ve just been patient. The main thing is we’re getting the three points, we’re winning games, so as long as the team is winning, that’s my main concern.“
Since breaking into the first team in 2015/16, Iwobi has only scored five Premier League goals and assisted seven, which isn’t the best tally from a forward.
This season, he’s only made two league appearances and has been notably absent from Wenger’s regular starting XI. However, as the boss says, this is because the Nigeria international is still young and learning to develop his skills.
While Iwobi can be sharp on the ball just about everywhere on the pitch, he’s not so skilled in front of goal.
With Iwobi, the foundations are very much in place and most Gooners are excited to see how he develops as he gets older and gets more minutes under his belt. He just has to be patient.