Mikel Arteta is tipping Alexi Iwobi for a bright future, after the academy product impressed for the first team.

The Nigeria international came on for the last 20 minutes of the goalless draw at Stoke, after starting the FA Cup third-round win over Sunderland the previous week.

Arteta has been encouraged by what he has seen of the 19-year-old, and believes he has a bright future in the game.

He is versatile and that's a massive attribute because forwards don't normally have that 360 vision that you need in midfield

Mikel Arteta

"You can see the change in his confidence after being given some minutes in the first team," the captain says in Sunday's matchday programme.

"The Stoke game was a good example of that. He came on and had an impact straight away. His decision-making was excellent and the game didn't run quicker than him.

"To do that against a tough team in a difficult atmosphere tells you he is improving and moving forwards."

Arteta played alongside Iwobi in midfield for the under-21s earlier this month, and says he learned a lot about him that day.

"I was surprised he could play in central midfield as well," he said. "He is versatile and that's a massive attribute because forwards don't normally have that 360 vision that you need in midfield.

“Alex is capable of reading the game well, understanding his positioning and his body shape when he plays.

"That's fairly unusual for a player who plays on the wing or up front. That will be important for his development."

Read more from Mikel in the #AFCvCFC matchday programme and make sure you follow all our live coverage of Sunday's game on Arsenal Player

Read more from Mikel in the #AFCvCFC matchday programme
Read more from Mikel in the #AFCvCFC matchday programme

Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
23 Jan 2016