The Super Eagles ace has disclosed the impact the two football greats have on his style of play.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and former Bolton Wanderers star Austin Okocha are two of the biggest influences on the career of Everton attacker, Alex Iwobi.
France 1998 World Cup-winning star, Henry, was already a world-class player, first at the Highbury and later at the Emirates, when Iwobi was making his way through the Arsenal academy.
The Nigerian was more inclined towards dribbling and showboating in his early days before the Gunners’ most prolific striker in history advised the youngster to focus more on goals and assists.
“Growing up, I’d go for nutmegs, try to embarrass my friends,” Iwobi said, according to quotes obtained from Tribal Football.
“Thierry told me that attackers are remembered for goals and assists, and I needed to get that in my head. Something clicked.”
But dribbling and getting past defenders with considerable ease has always been part of a player who shares the same genes with Nigerian great, Okocha.
The two-times BBC Player of the Year is widely regarded as one of Africa’s most gifted players ever, but he is also Iwobi’s uncle. It is, therefore, no surprise that the former Paris St. Germaine midfielder charged his nephew not to lose his creativity on the ball.
“Uncle Jay-Jay encouraged me to enjoy it. If you make a mistake, try again. I have stuck by that and will never hide,” Iwobi added.
“Now, it’s up to me to make a name for myself at Everton.”