Alex Iwobi should be loaned out in January.

Alex Iwobi needs loan spell to progress to the next level

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Arsenal's recent injury crisis, which saw the club deprived of the services of several of their options on the right wing, was far from ideal - but it did provide one talented youngster with the opportunity to sample a first-team environment.

Alex Iwobi had been patiently waiting for his chance, with the 19-year-old having excelled for the club at Under-21 level last season.

The Nigeria international featured for the Arsenal first-team in three successive games - against Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea City and Bayern Munich - and even though the last two of those appearances were fleeting cameos, Iwobi's involvement was a sign of how highly he is regarded within the club.


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The next step for the youngster will, inevitably, see him go out on loan as he attempts to prove that he is capable of performing at a high level on a consistent basis.

There is likely to be a horde of offers for Iwobi's services should Arsenal allow him to leave on temporary transfer and, once the first-team injury situation starts to clear up, a loan deal would probably be the best move for all concerned.

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Loan move essential for Iwobi's development

Iwobi's talents have been clear to see at youth level. He is fast, skilful and an impressive finisher. However, many players have excelled in academy football, particularly at Arsenal, only to struggle to replicate that form on the bigger stage.

Iwobi doesn't appear fazed by playing alongside or against senior stars, but there is still some way to go before he can be considered ready to challenge for a regular place in the first-team squad.

A spell in the Championship or even League One would enable us to gauge just what level the winger is currently at.

Even if he did have an unsuccessful stint elsewhere, it wouldn't be the end of the road for Iwobi at Arsenal, especially when it is taken into consideration that he signed a new long-term contract with the club earlier this season.

Making a sustained breakthrough, however, won't be easy - as many of the Arsenal academy alumni would be able to tell him. 

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