The Nigerian forward ignored more illustrious teammates to plunge for a former youth team colleague in a roll call of the best players he’s shared a football pitch with.
Alex Iwobi snubbed global stars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexander Lacazette to pick Super Eagles hopeful Chuba Akpom as one of the five best footballers he played with in his career.
Also on the Everton playmaker’s top five list are former Gunners hero Santi Cazorla, Glen Kamara, German midfield ace Mesut Ozil and Valencia star Francis Coquelin.
While Ozil, Cazorla and, to some extent, Coquelin, deserve their place on the list, it’s a bit of a surprise that Akpom and Kamara made it ahead of more renowned stars.
A former England youth international, Akpom spent years together with Iwobi at Arsenal’s youth teams, but while Iwobi went on to feature 149 times for Arsenal’s first team before moving to Everton, Akpom only played in 4 league matches before quitting the Emirates.
He is currently at Greek side PAOK, but he is yet to be called up for the Super Eagles, despite switching his allegiance to Nigeria since September 2019.
Before Akpom, though, Iwobi raved about Cazorla and Kamara when he was asked to name the top five footballers he has played with so far in his career in an Instagram Live conversation with Don Dada.
“The first one is Santi Cazorla; he was crazy. When he comes to the pitch and touches the ball, it’s like he’s blessing the ball.
“I always say this one, Glen Kamara, the most underrated footballer. I remember back in the day me and him in midfield for our youth team.
“Number 3, just because I played with him from young so the chemistry whenever we play, Chuba. We never got to express it for Arsenal. Even now, I am hoping he gets a call-up for Nigeria because of the chemistry.
“Four is Ozil; he was crazy. Obviously, because of his body language, people think he’s not working hard, but he actually works hard. People judge it wrong.
“They are going to find this a bit weird, but I’m going to say Francis Coquelin. I have been lucky to play with world-class players,” Iwobi concluded.