John Fashanu thinks Nigeria should build their team for the African Cup of Nations around Alex Iwobi, after the 22-year-old’s recent upturn in form.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Alex Iwobi of Arsenal keeps the ball in during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 11: Alex Iwobi of Arsenal keeps the ball in during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on November 11, 2018, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Iwobi’s performances have fluctuated in quality a bit this season, but he’s certainly playing well at the moment. In Arsenal’s last five games the winger has two goals and two assists, and he was one of the team’s best players in recent games against Liverpool (which wasn’t hard) and Blackpool.

As a result, former striker John Fashanu says he thinks the player is showing that he’s ready for a more pivotal role in the Nigeria team.

“He (Iwobi) has been exceptionally brilliant in his last couple of games for Arsenal and I was really impressed by his play in the game against Liverpool,” Fashanu said. “No doubt, he is in good form and I believe he would maintain the form in the latter part of the season and more importantly to the Nations Cup coming up in the middle of the year.

“There is no doubt he has the talent and experience to control the game from the midfield. I hope the manager is seeing things the way I’m seeing it. He is in form and he should be the one that would initiate most of our moves. The players should get him involved and by this, I mean he should get the ball regularly.

“He is a big threat to the opponents when he is with the ball as he has the intelligence to unlock any defence with his passes.”

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 22: Alex Iwobi of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Iceland at Volgograd Arena on June 22, 2018, in Volgograd, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Iwobi travelled with the Nigeria squad to the World Cup in Russia last summer, but he hardly got a chance on the pitch, only making one start lasting 62 minutes. Clearly, Fashanu thinks the winger should have a much bigger role to play in his country’s next major international tournament.

The best thing Iwobi can do to support that view is to continue playing well for Arsenal and Nigeria between now and the end of the season.