Alex Iwobi was notably excited to make a return to the Arsenal squad on Tuesday night during the club’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland. Iwobi entered the game as a substitute for Kieran Gibbs in the 69th minute, which triggered Iwobi’s first appearance with the team since April 2, when he played in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City. He now has three goals and two assists in 25 appearances with Arsenal this season, and attempted to snag his fourth goal of the season last night, but the 83rd minute shot was successfully blocked by Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. On Instagram, Iwobi expressed his excitement by posting a picture of himself on the pitch saying “Back Doing What I Love”. Arsenal is now fifth in the league standings, and is hoping to at least finish the season in the top four with a victory over Everton in their final match of the season this Sunday.
Alex Iwobi has been sidelined by Arsene Wenger, head coach of Arsenal, without much explanation on the part of the long-time club leader. Iwobi’s uncle and former Paris Saint-Germain player Jay-Jay Okocha commented on Iwobi’s struggles to get into the lineup, hinting that Iwobi may be playing with the mindset of outlasting Wenger. Okocha later clarified and said, “I don’t think Wenger should go. They’ve been up there for 20 years, you’d expect they’d have one or two bad seasons. He’s one of the best coaches in the world and he deserves a lot of respect for what he’s done.” While talented from a very young age, it was initially a surprise that he got starting chances before even the age of 21, so maybe the regression in playing time is to be expected. In any case, Iwobi has attempted to keep an optimistic face on social media and to the press.