Arsenal have been quite active in the transfer market this summer after the appointment of new manager Unai Emery. The Frenchman has been busy bringing in the players who he feels will be able to flourish under his tactical acumen but a recent report seems to be quite interesting.
According to a report from the Mirror, Alex Iwobi is set to sign a new deal that will further extend his stay at the club. The attacking midfielder’s current contract lasts until 2020 but the proposed offer would keep him at the club until 2022. Arsenal have previously made the mistake of not holding on to their players but they seem to be learning from their past mistakes. Mesut Ozil and Mohammed Elneny also signed contract extensions this year but the decision to prolong the Nigerian’s stay at Arsenal might divide opinions. Let us analyze Iwobi’s situation at Arsenal:
Alex Iwobi: Player Profile
Iwobi is a product of Arsenal’s youth academy and has risen through the ranks to feature regularly for the first team. Arsene Wenger saw immense potential in the lad and ensured that Iwobi got his chances to display his skill for the first team. The 22-year-old forward is lightning quick and possesses nimble footwork. He can dribble past defenders and looks to play one-touch football from the left flank. Iwobi’s efficiency is doubtful though and hence his maturity is under question, as he has not progressed much on the goal-contribution front despite having made his debut three years ago.
Unlike most new lads, Iwobi doesn’t contribute much to the team without the ball. In the current game, it is essential for wingers to demonstrate the same level of work-ethic in order to form the first line of defence. Wingers like Alexis Sanchez, Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane and Marcus Rashford help their respective teams to hold on to a definite defensive structure without the ball too. However, his skills on the ball mean that Iwobi can thread in through balls and is a creative force for the team.
Is it the right move by Arsenal?
While Iwobi might not have progressed expectedly over the past two years, he still has age on his side. The Nigerian can develop well under Unai Emery and this proposed extension means that the club has him firmly in its plans. It won’t be easy for him, as Iwobi would have to compete with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil to play on the wings, and his playing time would be cut short too.
But the lad has got promise and his confidence will be boosted by Arsenal’s decision to hand him a new contract and this is probably a season where he puts down a marker.