Arsenal's Alex Iwobi showcases vast potential during FA Cup win over Burnley

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Alex Iwobi, Arsenal's baby-faced 19-year-old forward with socks rolled around his ankles, is one of the most highly-rated youngsters at the club and fans are beginning to see why after yet another promising display against Burnley in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Nigerian has come a long way since that 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in late October, producing a classy performance against Sean Dyke's side at the Emirates.

Iwobi's quick feet, vision and swift movement proved a key component in the Gunners' victory, suggesting the north London side have a future star on their hands.


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His combination play with Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who offered pace, imagination and power throughout, proved difficult for Burnley to contain.

Such was the youngster's contribution that he was heavily involved in both goals, also crafting a few chances of his own during his 71-minute stint.

After the game, manager Arsene Wenger praised Iwobi's performance and expressed his delight that fans are finally seeing what all the hype was about.

He said: "I think he has shown everybody that he is a good player again.

"I like his game, I like the timing of his decision making and the quality of his decision making. He always turns where you want him to turn and he plays the ball where you want him to play the ball. He’s very interesting.

"He can play on the left, he can play on the right, he can play behind the striker and he can even play as a No 9, because he scores goals in training."

It seems Arsenal have found a long-term replacement for veteran Tomas Rosicky who, following yet another injury set-back, seems likely to call time on his career. Iwobi's performances also suggest he's a capable back up to Mesut Ozil in the number 10 position.     

A loan move away from Arsenal in January was rumoured, but Wenger was right to keep hold of the teenager and allow him to learn from his more senior teammates.

Iwobi's best chance of game time will come in the FA Cup, but if he continues to progress like he has over the past six months, a starting spot in Arsenal's side will become an increasingly likely prospect.

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Thierry Henry
Premier League

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