Alex Iwobi has revealed he expected to be out on loan rather than playing for the Arsenal first team this season.
The 20-year-old has burst onto the scene this campaign, having become a virtual ever present in the early stages of the season making 14 appearances in all competitions already.
However, Iwobi says he expected to follow the likes of Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers and Joel Campbell and spend the season away from the Emirates.
“Honestly I didn’t expect to be where I am today,” Iwobi told Arsenal Player. “I thought a long time ago that I’d be on loan and probably get experience there before having experience in the first team, but the fact that the boss trusted me to jump into the first team as quick as I did, I’m just grateful for it.
“The same way I was able to break into it is the same way that I take the chance now. I play like it’s almost like my last game, I treat it like it’s my last moment here, so I do my best and I always put 100 per cent into whatever I do.”
Iwobi also revealed how hard he is being forced to work to stay in the first team due to the intense competition for places in Arsene Wenger’s squad.
“If you don’t do as well as you think you could’ve done, there’s other players, other international, great players, that can just step in,” he added. “So you just have to take the chance all the time and do your best when the time comes.
“The big thing is you need to stay fit and always need to give it your all. I mean, you’ve got to have the right attitude, you’ve got to be mentally prepared for whatever happens.
“Not everything is going to be smooth sailing for you so you’ve got to be prepared for all conditions.”
Iwobi’s emergence has undoubtedly been another highlight of a strong start to the season with his rainbow flick while on international duty yet another example of the huge quality he possesses.