Hard to believe that Alex Iwobi was almost released by Arsenal as a 14-year-old.
Deemed not quite good enough but given a second chance, the Nigerian was eventually kept on and has since blossomed into one of the Premier League's up-and-coming stars.
The 2015/16 season is when Iwobi broke into Arsenal's senior side, earning a few substitute appearances before making his league debut against Swansea City and later scoring in victories over Everton and Watford.
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Iwobi partly attributes his meteoric rise to luck, but hard work on the training ground will have undoubtedly played an important role.
And work hard he must after revealing just how competitive Arsenal training is.
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In an interview with FourFourTwo, which you can watch below, Iwobi discussed everything from the hardest worker to who scores the most worldies.
It was his answer to "who flies into the tackles?" that was most interesting, though (2:18).
"Gabriel," he said instantly, with a smile on his face. "He flies into everything! Head first, foot first, everything.
"He's the worst to play against in training."
Not the most surprising answer, I think you'll agree. Gabriel is well renowned for his combative approach to defending, often putting his body on the line and making crunching tackles.
So, what else did Iwobi have to say about his teammates in training?
The winger named Alexis Sanchez as the hardest worker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the player who's always late and Danny Welbeck as the "beast" in the gym.
Santi Cazorla's name popped up on more than one occasion, with Iwobi selecting the Spaniard as the player he'd want in a 5-a-side team, who never gives the ball away and the king of nutmegs.
"The way he controls the game with both feet, he's just so technical," the Nigerian added. "He's the one you want in your team.
"Some of the things he does. It's just funny now; it's hilarious. We always stop training and just start laughing."
Iwobi will be counting his blessings to be playing alongside such high-profile names given how, as mentioned, he only just made the cut as a teenager.
"I was almost released at 14, again at 16 and just about got a professional contract after that," he said.
"Luckily I did enough. At 16 I got the option to leave but I always felt at home at Arsenal and that was where I wanted to be.
"At 16, there were a lot of good players, a few internationals in the team at a young age so it was difficult for me to stand out in the games.
"They always want the best and I wasn’t really up there at that age. The fact that I kept getting chances makes me feel lucky."
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