Arsenal supporters will be looking ahead to the new season full of optimism after an interesting summer of transfer activity at the Emirates. Arsène Wenger has already broken the club’s transfer record to sign Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette for £46.5 million. However, this is not expected to be the final addition to Arsenal’s squad before the transfer window slams shut with AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar also being linked heavily with a move to the club.
Despite the need for quality players to be added to the squad, there is already a host of young talent already at the club who are only going to be better next season. One player who falls into this category is 21-year-old Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian winger has started to force his way into Wenger’s plans in the last two years with some impressive performances for the Gunners.
After several years progressing through Arsenal’s youth academy, Iwobi finally started to feature in the first team in the 2015/16 campaign. He made 13 appearances in the Premier League and scored two goals. However, it was last season when he really started to show his potential and what he could do in an Arsenal shirt. He made a total of 26 league appearances last campaign and found the back of the net three times.
It is likely that he will be looking to make even more of an impression at the Emirates this season and will want to improve his goal tally further. As he is just 21-years-old, there is still plenty of time for him to develop and there is no better manager to do that under than Wenger. The French manager has a history of helping young talent reach their full potential, and he will be looking to do exactly the same with Iwobi.
Iwobi could become a vital figure for Arsenal next season, depending on what the outcome on Alexis Sánchez’s future is. Sánchez enjoyed a superb season for the Gunners last time out but has been linked with a move away this summer. Both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested in the winger.
If Sanchez does decide to move on in his career, then Iwobi’s role at the club becomes even more vital. Another Arsenal winger in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also been heavily linked with a move away with Chelsea understood to be interested in securing his services. If Oxlade-Chamberlain was also to depart, it would leave Wenger significantly short of wide options.
The only other wingers in Arsenal’s squad are Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell. Danny Welbeck has also sometimes been utilised in a wide position but is still better suited to being played down the middle. Iwobi has proven that he is as good, if not better, than all of these wide options in the last two years and is likely to be included far more regularly in Wenger’s starting line-up next season.