Nigeria forward Alex Iwobi has been part of the Super Eagles since his international debut in October 2015. Iwobi made his debut for Nigeria against DR. Congo in 2015 as Nigeria lost to 0-2 to the modest African side.
In this second match, he came on to replace the new captain, Ahmed Musa, in the second half as Nigeria defeated Cameroon 3-0 within the same week of their defeat to DR. Congo.
He made his competitive debut in the 2017 AFCON qualifying clash against Egypt at Kaduna.
The appearance against the Pharaoh’s sealed his future with the Super Eagles as England were beginning to put an eye on him for the possibility of having him to play for the Three Lions.
England’s interest came at a time the player broke into the Arsenal first-team thanks’ to a manager like Arsenal Wenger who loves and believes in young players.
All he needed was to play against Egypt in Kaduna and become a full international for Nigeria, which he did.
Iwobi benefitted from his coach’s benevolence and patience as he flourished in the Arsenal set-up alongside Chile star Alex’s Sanchez, thus drawing a comparison with his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha.
He’s gone on to feature in two major competitions for Nigeria. But the issue is, has Iwobi progressed as a player since then because much was expected of him due to his Arsenal reputation?
This expectation is mostly based on his background as he’s related to Austin Okocha, while also having the pedigree of playing for a prestigious club like Arsenal.
But has Alex Iwobi done enough for Nigeria?
The answer may be relative, but much is expected from the former Arsenal man as he’s been handed a free role by Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr.
Iwobi plays in front of the duo of Oghenekaro Etebo in the central midfield and Wilfred Ndidi in the midfield pivot.
The basic thing is that the player needs to improve his game like his uncle, who was at a higher level when he held sway in the same position for Nigeria.
Okocha was unplayable during his days in the Super Eagles. His free-kicks was an advantage to his side more as his appearance could stimulate confidence to his teammates and joy to the Nigerian fans as well.
This cannot be said of Iwobi as the player seems to be lacking the level of finesse and guile to thrive at a level that could bring out the best from the Super Eagles team.
With the attacking players Nigeria and Gernot Rohr have in the squad, Iwobi needs to improve and find his rhythm in the green and white shirt as players like Samuel Chukwueze, Henry Onyekuru, Ahmed Musa are waiting to exploit the opposing defence through his creativity.
With Oghenekaro Etebo sacrificed in a deeper role in midfield, unlike the attacking midfield role where the player’s more suitable and accustomed to since his days at Warri Wolves, Iwobi must improve his game to validate the provisions made open for him in midfield.
The Everton man needs a strong mentality while also increasing the speed and the flow of Nigeria’s play. More creativity will be required from him in the final third in other to pull oppositions apart and restore the glory days to Nigerian football once again.