Arsene Wenger has backed youngster Alex Iwobi to go on to become a ‘great player for Arsenal.’
Iwobi has been promoted to the first-team at the Emirates after impressing during his eight appearances for the Gunners this season.
The Nigerian had played most of his youth career as a winger but has been used a central midfielder by Wenger during their FA Cup wins against Sunderland and Burnley.
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Iwobi’s performances have impressed the Frenchman so much that the 19-year-old has been made to train with the first-team on a permanent basis.
And Wenger had extremely high praise for Iwobi in his Leicester matchday programme notes.
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"It's a very important moment,” Wenger wrote.
“Every player has to fight hard here to get in there. He came through the youth ranks and he has made it quietly, slowly, but remarkably, I must say."
Wenger added: ”He moved into the first-team dressing room and I hope he will be in there for a long time.”
”Personally, I believe this boy will be a great player for Arsenal Football Club. He has all the ingredients, not only on the footballing front but also mentally.
"He's intelligent, motivated, focused every day, has a consistent attitude and I'm very happy for him."
Arsenal career so far
Iwobi joined Wenger’s side as an eight-year-old and has progressed throughout the age groups.
He was a regular scorer for the Under-21s which earned him a call-up to Arsenal's first-team.
He made his professional debut when he started in the 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup on October 27.
FA Cup regular
However, his two most recent starts in the FA Cup for Wenger have gone a lot better as his impressive performances have helped them overcome Sunderland 3-1 and Burnley 2-1.
They now face Hull in the fifth round and Iwobi will be hoping to make his third consecutive start in the competition.
Despite his performances in the FA Cup, Iwobi is yet to start in the Premier League under Wenger but has made four substitute appearances for the club this season whilst the side were struggling with injuries throughout November and December.
He was left out of Arsenal’s 18-man squad to face Leicester on Saturday with Danny Welbeck edging him out for a place on the bench - and Iwobi may find it difficult to regain his spot on the bench, with Welbeck scoring a 95th-minute winner to keep Arsenal in the title mix.
Runs in the family
Iwobi will be hoping to become as much of a fan favourite at Arsenal than his uncle - Jay-Jay Okocha - was at Bolton.
Okocha played four seasons in the Premier League for the Trotters, scoring 14 goals in 124 matches in the Premier League.