Given his stellar play over the last few months and increasing importance in the attack, it should come to no one’s surprise that Arsenal’s 20-year-old attacker Alex Iwobi has been shortlisted for the European Golden Boy award.
The European Golden Boy title came about in 2003 and has been awarded to players such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney and former Arsenal Man Cesc Fabregas. Though it’s a bit of a popularity contest at times, it’s still a fairly prestigious award and Iwobi’s two goals and five assists, not to mention his all-around contributions offensively, in the last year or so has placed him on this list of talented wonderkids.
While it might be difficult for him to overtake starlets like Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kingsley Coman, Renato Sanches or Marco Asensio thanks to the playing time they’ve gotten and the hype machines surrounding their clubs, he's at least getting mainstream recognition for the great work and effort he's brought to the team. Not only is the media noticing his talents, but so are his teammates with years of experience over him.
“He reminds me of his uncle, Jay-Jay Okocha," Ozil said. "He was a player I loved watching. Alex reminds me of a mixture of him and Edgar Davids. He's really strong on the ball, also defensively, but he's good in front of goal too.
He's developing really well and if he continues the way he's been playing for the whole season, he will enhance his game. The manager knows exactly how good he is and I wish him all the best."
Pretty good praise coming from one of the world’s very best players.