Pre-Match Report

U21s: Arsenal v Reading - Preview

Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi would surely have impressed Jack Wilshere with his performances this season.

The 18-year-old forward has scored five goals in the last two games he has started with the England international, including a hat-trick in Arsenal Under-21s’ 4-1 win against Stoke City at Emirates Stadium.

There is a reason behind Iwobi’s good form. The tricky forward has recently been moved up front to fill in for good friend Chuba Akpom - who is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest - and has excelled when latching onto Wilshere and Abou Diaby’s passes.

Iwobi has a chance to add to his impressive tally against Reading on Monday, and will relish linking up with the two first-team players again.

"I would like to base my game around Okocha but I’d also like to have that unique game"

Alex Iwobi

“I look up to Jack Wilshere because he’s come up through the ranks and has been involved with the first team from a young age,” Iwobi told Arsenal Player earlier this season.

“I look at him for inspiration and hopefully I can get more starts for the under-21s, do well and train more with the first team.”

Iwobi is used to playing with world-class players. The nephew of the two-time African Footballer of the Year Jay-Jay Okocha has always been able to turn to the man ‘so good they named him twice’ for help in his nascent career.

“He’s a brilliant player, a legend for Nigeria and a legend in the Premier League,” the 18-year-old said.

“He’s influenced me because he’s taught me a lot of things, he’s been through a lot of things in his career. He’s told me what to do, how I should do things, and has been a big inspiration to me.

“It would be nice to be like a young Jay-Jay as he was very skilful and an attractive football player. I would like to base my game around him but I’d also like to have that unique game.

"He says, ‘don’t be shy to express yourself, always be yourself. Listen to your coaches but try to be yourself at the same time’.”

Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi

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