Alex Iwobi may be shining for Arsenal under Unai Emery, but the Gunners star has admitted that things could have been very different.
Earlier this year, the Nigerian midfielder signed a long-term contract with Arsenal until 2023, and he has now played more than 100 times for the Gunners since making his debut in 2015.
But the 22-year-old has revealed that he almost left the club during Arsene Wenger’s time in charge, amid interest from Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Southampton and Scottish giants Celtic.
Indeed, Iwobi has spoken of how close he came to switching north London for south London.
“My situation was weird,” he said in an interview with Arsenal’s matchday programme.
“There were three of us at the time and we were basically told ‘stay if you want, or if not you are free to go.
“It was up to me and at that moment I went to the Crystal Palace training ground to see them.
“I had offers from Celtic and Southampton as well. Celtic was the main one, but I wasn’t ready to go to Scotland.
“I thought it was best to stay at Arsenal, but I have to say it felt weird.
“I was playing for England [at youth level], but I felt maybe I wasn’t rated. My England team-mates and everyone else
“It was hard especially because at school as well, everyone was talking about it.”