Arsenal legend Kanu tips 22-year-old to thrive under Unai Emery
Arsenal legend Nwankwo Kanu is confident Alex Iwobi can blossom under new Arsenal boss Unai Emery
Nwankwo Kanu has tipped Arsenal playmaker Alex Iwobi to become a “star” under Alex Iwobi.
The Gunners star has struggled to kick on under Arsene Wenger over the past couple of seasons after impressing following his initial introduction to the first team.
Iwobi has appeared to have been distracted to allow his career to falter and prompt criticism of the Gunners midfielder in the 2017-18 Premier League season.
The 22-year-old has scored nine goals in 98 appearances for Arsenal since making his debut in a 3-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup in the 2015-16 season.
Indeed, the Nigeria international started 22 games in the Premier League last season despite the north London side’s well-documented struggles under Wenger.
Former Sevilla boss Emery has taken over the reins from Wenger to signal a change of management after the French head coach’s 22-season reign at Arsenal.
Club legend Kanu, who won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Wenger in 1998, is confident Iwobi can thrive under Wenger in the new Premier League season.
“In Arsenal you have big, big names,” Kanu told Standard Sport. “I don’t think he sees himself in that way.
“When I talk with him I want him to feel that way. Just because you’re younger than the other players doesn’t mean you’re not a star. He’s a star in his own right.
“When he comes to Nigeria he feels the pressure: he’s Iwobi, he needs to deliver. With Arsenal he thinks ‘ok, there’s other names here, no problem’. He needs to change that.”
Iwobi has won the FA Cup and the Community Shield since his emergence as a first-team player at Arsenal.
The Gunners star netted three times in 39 games in all competitions last term.