Unai Emery: Why I want more from Alex Iwobi at Arsenal
The Arsenal manager wants Alex Iwobi to score more goals for the north London side
Unai Emery has challenged Alex Iwobi to score more goals for Arsenal.
The Nigeria international has shown some good form under the Gunners boss this season after Emery took over the reins from Arsene Wenger in the summer.
Iwobi made a bright start to his Arsenal career when he burst into Wenger’s starting line-up in the 2016-17 season to earn rave reviews.
He netted three goals and made three assists in 18 starts and eight substitute appearances in that Premier League campaign.
The 23-year-old, though, has lost his way in the past 18 months or so to stunt his development at the north London side.
Iwobi was a second-half substitute in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Nigerian was unable to conjure a winner against the Reds but the African playmaker did have a positive impact.
And Emery wants to see Iwobi score more goals for Arsenal.
“We need every player and the characteristics he has are important,” Emery is quoted as saying by Arsenal’s website.
“Iwobi can impact highly in the match, also in the beginning of the match when we play with him starting on the bench.”
He added: “His energy is important, his quality. But he can do better also. He scored against Chelsea, there’s been a lot of matches, I want him to be nearer the box to score more and I think that he can. I think he is very young and he is improving, but I have ambition because he can do more.”
Iwobi has scored one goal and has made two assists in eight appearances in the Premier League ahead of Arsenal’s home clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Emirates on Sunday.
The Nigeria international, who is Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew, made his Arsenal debut in a 3-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup third round in September 2015.
However, Iwobi was soon to open his account with goals against Everton and Watford in March 2016 at the age of 19, prompting rave reviews of the promising African star.
The Arsenal youth produce played a key role in the Gunners’ FA Cup success in 2016-17, culminating in 2-1 win over Chelsea FC in the final at Wembley.
The Gunners star will be under pressure to improve his performances and his goal record given the competition for a starting spot under Emery.
Iwobi is currently competing with Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a starting spot.