Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Iwobi will fight for Arsenal future if Wenger leaves, says Okocha

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 May 2017

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Alex Iwobi will fight on at Arsenal even if Arsene Wenger does not continue as manager, former Nigeria star Jay-Jay Okocha has predicted.

The 21-year-old made his first-team debut in October 2015 and quickly established himself as an important part of the Gunners’ plans.

However, the Nigeria international forward has not made an appearance in the Premier League since the 2-2 draw with Manchester City on April 2, prompting speculation that his long-term future could be away from Emirates Stadium.

Wenger himself has yet to confirm if he will sign a new contract to stay on beyond this season, but Okocha, who is Iwobi’s uncle, does not believe the fates of the two men are linked.

“It’s not easy to break into an Arsenal team from youth,” the former Paris Saint-Germain and Bolton Wanderers man told Omnisport.

“A young player won’t cope with a whole season. It’s understandable he’s not been playing recently. Overall he has done well.

“No player is happy when he’s not playing but he’s still learning, he’s still young.

“He’s not playing for Wenger. He’s playing for Arsenal, even though Wenger gave him the opportunity. If Wenger goes, he’ll fight on.”

Okocha hopes to see Wenger continue in north London and says the often-criticised 67-year-old deserves significant respect.

“I don’t think Wenger should go,” he said. “They’ve been up there for 20 years, you’d expect they’d have one or two bad seasons.

“He’s one of the best coaches in the world and he deserves a lot of respect for what he’s done.”

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