Arsene Wenger did not expect Alex Iwobi to make such a big impact this season.
The Nigeria forward followed his first senior goal against Everton with a cool finish in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Watford, helping the Gunners close the gap on Tottenham Hotspur to four points.
Iwobi was given a standing ovation by the Emirates crowd as he left the field to be replaced by Theo Walcott, and Wenger says it was testament to the 19-year-old’s fine performance.
"That’s benefited from the fact that he knows everybody and they trust him as well. I didn’t expect that level of efficiency or impact on the scoresheet"
“These people have seen many good players over the years and they know straight away when a player has something special, so they acknowledge that,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “You cannot cheat people. They’ve seen how quickly he’s improved and how well he’s played.
“It’s surprising how quickly he’s integrated into our game. He’s worked with us since the start of the season and he has grown, gained confidence and when he came in he had an impact straight away.
“That’s benefited from the fact that he knows everybody and they trust him as well. I didn’t expect that level of efficiency or impact on the scoresheet.
“Our game had a quick flow with technical quality,” Wenger added. “We created chances, played well together and overall we dominated all departments of the game. We scored four, didn’t concede, so it’s positive.
“Now we have to find the right mixture between belief and being realistic, focusing on the next game, focusing on the process, and adding that belief. We can still challenge for the title.”
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