Arsene Wenger wanted Alex Iwobi to play for England instead but the 18 year-old decided to opt for fatherland, Nigeria
Alex Iwobi had switched allegiance to Nigeria but this would not have been as smooth as it happened were it not for two Nigerian stars, Austin Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu.
The 18 year-old who moved to England in his early days, could easily have represented England at the senior stage after wearing their colours in the youth grades, but he states that the pride and honour of playing for the fatherland, convinced him to become a part and parcel of Nigeria’s Dream Team X1 under Samson Siasia.
“Ordinarily I would have loved to play for England since I have played for all the under-aged teams up to the U- 19, but (for) Austin Okocha, my mother’s relation, who I respect a lot for his exploits with the Super Eagles and most especially for his records with Bolton Football Club.
''The outstanding records of Kanu Nwankwo that I met and read about in England, influenced my decision to play for Nigeria.
“My dad too has told me a lot of things about the honour and pride that goes with playing for one’s father’s land.
“So I thought a lot about this and decided to play for Nigeria,’’ Iwobi told reporters at the Abuja camp of the Olympic team.
Touted as one who “can play on either wing and has the ability to unlock defences with his direct style and incisive passes,” Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger did not want him playing for Nigeria but his love for the Green-white-gren jersey of Nigeria drew him home.
‘’Actually, manager Arsene Wenger wanted me to play for England but my father and Okocha urged me to play for Nigeria,’’ he said.
Adding that he ‘’decided to come and play for Nigeria because I love the green and white colours of Nigeria.’’