Arsenal’s Nigerian wonderkid reflects on snubbing England international future

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Arsenal wonderkid Alex Iwobi has admitted that it was a difficult decision to opt for an international future with Nigeria, rather than England.

The forward featured for the Three Lions at youth level, but decided to feature for Super Eagles, and made his competitive debut in the recent international break.

While the Iwobi’s first experience of competitive international football ended in disappointment—as one point from two matches against Egypt ended the West Africans’ giants hopes of reaching the 2017 Cup of Nations in Gabon—the forward has not expressed any regret at having snubbed England.

“The love Nigeria showed me… when I played for them in a friendly, the fans were just crazy. The fans almost eat you up because they love you so much. I’m enjoying playing for them,” Iwobi began, speaking to Arsenal Player [as per].

“When you’re getting out of the airport there are fans already there screaming ‘Arsenal, Arsenal. Gunners for life!’ and it’s just mad,” he continued. “Some of them have Arsenal shirts and then others will ask me for Arsenal shirts. It’s a bit mad and the fans are crazy.”

The teenage attacker—the cousin of Jay-Jay Okocha—admitted that it wasn’t an easy decision to commit to the Super Eagles at the expense of England.

“It was a difficult decision picking Nigeria over England,” the youngster continued.

“England did contact me recently before I played my first competitive match for Nigeria, asking if I wanted to play for England. I’m very proud to represent Nigeria but I would like to say thank you to England for the chance they gave me, it was a difficult decision.”

Iwobi has shone in recent weeks and months, emerging as a ray of light in a troubled campaign for Arsene Wenger’s troops.

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The forward impressed after being given a surprise chance to impress against Barcelona in the Champions League, and he retained his place even though the Gunners dropped out of the tournament.

He starred against Everton in the Premier League, finding the net in a 2-0 victory, before demonstrating his promise again with another strike in a 4-0 triumph over Watford.

While the North London heavyweights will surely be disappointed to have taken only a point from West Ham United in last weekend’s 3-3 draw, Iwobi again impressed with two assists and a thoroughly convincing showing.

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