Alex Iwobi says he never thought he would be playing so much first-team football this season.
The 19-year-old has made 14 appearances during a breakthrough campaign, which included his first senior goal in the Gunners’ 2-0 win at Everton on Saturday.
Iwobi’s form has also earned him two caps for Nigeria, and the teenager cannot believe how well his breakthrough season has gone.
“I thought that I was going to go on loan after the Emirates Cup and have to prove myself in men’s football out on loan,” he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “I stayed, the boss had faith in me, I played a few matches and here we are.
“When you go out on loan you’re playing men’s football so you have to win all the time. You learn things more quickly on loan but when you’re playing with world-class players at Arsenal, training with them every day, you become a better footballer in my opinion. You learn a lot more training with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis.
“The first-team players have told me that I’ve deserved to make the step up, that it comes with hard work. They advise me with a few things but most of the time they’re trying to keep me cool, relaxed and level-headed. I’m just focused on playing as much football as I can for the rest of the season.”
Copyright 2023 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.