Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Alex Iwobi following his Premier League cameo against Stoke City, highlighting the development and the technical brilliance of the young forward (via the Evening Standard).
The 19-year-old is looking like one of the brightest talents to come from our academy in a while, and clearly has the faith of the manager. He’s been handed a number of chances throughout the campaign so far, and it seems likely that he’ll feature again in the FA Cup clash with Burnley this weekend.
He’s looked extremely promising whenever he’s played, and certainly hasn’t looked out of his depth among the senior players. He deserves the praise Arteta has given him, and it will be good to see more of him as the season wares on.
“Technically he is a brilliant player, he works hard, though sometimes being versatile can also work against you in the future because you want consistency in one position,” Arteta said.
“At the moment though, he is a very good team player.
“You can see the change in his confidence after being given some minutes in the first team.
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“The Stoke game was a good example of that. He came on and had an impact on the game straight away. His decision-making was excellent and the game didn’t run quicker than him.
“To do that against a tough team in a difficult atmosphere tells you he is improving and moving forwards.”
It was clear we’d be seeing more of the teen after the solid pre-season he had, and he was one of many who impressed during the Emirates Cup. Although Jeff Reine-Adelaide was also hugely impressive during the tournament, and we’ve seen barely any of the young summer signing so far.
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Despite being known for our academy and nurturing young talent, we haven’t seen as many youth players breaking into the first-team as we may have liked. It would therefore be great to see the likes of Iwobi and Reine-Adelaide actually push for a regular spot in the side, so hopefully they continue to impress.