Alex Iwobi could miss the start of next season as Arsenal youngster wants to be in the Olympics

The 19-year-old has impressed in recent weeks

Tom Sheen@Tom_Sheen
Wednesday 06 April 2016 12:03

Arsenal could be without Alex Iwobi for the start of the 2016-17 season after the teenager revealed he wants to be part of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero this summer.

The 19-year-old has been hugely impressive in the last month, scoring twice in four games and adding an assist, as well as impressing against Barcelona in the Champions League.

The midfielder has been described as "something special" by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, with the Frenchman saying he "didn't expect that level of efficiency or impact" so quickly from the teenager.

However, Iwobi, who has recently committed his international future to Nigeria despite being eligible to play for England, has now revealed he wants to play in Brazil this summer with the Super Eagles Under-23 side.

The Olympic football tournament is due to start on 3 August, just 10 days before the scheduled start of the the Premier League next season on 13 August Nigeria will at least be involved until 10 August, playing three group games in that time.

If if Samson Siasa's team make it all the way to the final Iwobi would be out of action until 20 August, not to mention having spent almost a month away from Arsenal and pre-season training.

"I am looking forward to the forthcoming Olympics and if I am invited, I will do my best to make a meaningful contribution," Iwobi, who is expected to be offered a new contract, told

"I believe that Nigeria has a crop of excellent players who are capable of doing great things at the Olympics. Coach Samson Siasia deserves a lot of praise for securing a place for the nation at the Olympics."

On his choosing to represent Nigeria, the country of his birth, over England, Iwobi added: "I do not have any regrets whatsoever in opting to play for Nigeria and will always do my best whenever I put on the green white green colours of Nigeria.

"I hope to be involved in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers too. Nigeria is a great footballing nation and deserves to assume her rightful place in Africa and world football and I am keen to be part of a team that achieves this goal."

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