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Wenger salutes Iwobi, Akpom

27 July 2015, 10:06

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised forward Alex Iwobi, following the Nigerian’s goal and impressive display in their 6-0 annihilation of Olympique Lyon in their opening fixture of the 2015 Emirates Cup on Saturday.

The 19-year old scored Arsenal’s third goal in the rout after only 35 minutes and could have had a brace within ninety seconds as he put the ball in the back of the net again only to be waved offside by the assistant referee.

That notwithstanding, his performances so far in Arsenal’s pre-season haven’t gone unnoticed as Wenger has taken out time to praise the 19-year old and fellow Nigerian, Chuba Akpom.

Also read: Wenger rules out sending Chuba Akpom on loan

“The first name that comes to mind [to play] is certainly Chuba Akpom because he has done well on tour,” Wenger said.

“Maybe two or three more will feature, certainly Alex Iwobi will be very close to making the team for these games as well.

"I like [Iwobi’s] team attitude, his movement. We have a game based on movement and speed, and he integrates that very well.

“He has good power and is usually efficient - he scores goals a lot - and he had two good chances against Singapore. He missed them but usually he is capable of scoring.

“One of the advantages of pre-season games like that is that it’s competitive and it’s a good opportunity to see some promising talents. We saw Alex Iwobi, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chuba Akpom and because they practice with us it makes it easier for them to integrate into the team,” Wenger was quoted on the Arsenal website.

Iwobi, who is Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha’s nephew, is expected to feature more for the Arsenal first team this season, having successfully captained the U19 side.

-Soccer Laduma

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