'Phenomenal' Alex Iwobi must stay and fight for Arsenal place, says his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha

James Benge
Iwobi has struggled to establish himself in the Arsenal side over recent weeks: AFP/Getty Images

Alex Iwobi’s uncle Jay-Jay Okocha has urged the Arsenal youngster to fight his way back into Arsene Wenger’s side rather than leaving on loan.

The 20-year-old has slipped down the pecking order at the Emirates in recent weeks and has not started a game for the Gunners since the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool in early March. Iwobi was even dropped to the Under-23 squad earlier this month.

However Iwobi has still made 36 appearances under Wenger this season, an impressive feat for a player who had not started a Premier League game before March 2016.

And though Iwobi would not lack for suitors were he to depart on loan his uncle Okocha, one of the greatest players in Nigeria’s footballing history, believes he is best placed staying at the Emirates.

“We can’t forget that this is his first full season in the first team and Arsenal have all their players back now. There’s a lot of competition, so it’s not easy,” Okocha told Sky Sports.

“He has had a good season. It’s not easy to make it through from the academy into the first team at such a big club. He has achieved this and has been phenomenal.

“I am delighted with what he has achieved so far.

“I think it’s better for him to stay at Arsenal, because the style of play suits him perfectly. It might not be easy for him to go on loan and adapt somewhere else. He needs to stay and fight for his shirt.”