Nigerian footballers have always been able to make a name for themselves in the English Premier League.
The likes of Kanu Nwankwo, Mikel Obi, Jay-Jay Okocha, Celestine Babayoro, Joseph Yobo and Daniel Amokachi were all able to ply their trade in the English league. Right now, there are 9 Nigerians carrying that torch, one of which is Alex Iwobi.
Alexander Chuka Iwobi is a 26-year-old footballer, who plays for Everton Football Club.
Born on May 3rd 1996 in Lagos, Nigeria, Iwobi and his family moved to Turkey in 2002. In 2004, his mother’s little brother, one Austin Jay Jay Okocha arrived in the Premier League as he signed for Bolton Wanderers. This move became the catalyst that meant the Iwobis had to move again, this time to the UK. Living around football and watching his uncle excel at the sport piqued his interest and he quickly began playing football with friends.
At the age of 8, he joined the Arsenal academy where he grew his game while still studying in school. He spent 11 years in the academy and eventually made his debut in the Arsenal first team in 2015 at the age of 19.
On May 19 2016, he scored his first goal for the club against Everton ironically and was able to tally 15 goals while at the club. Iwobi won the FA Cup once and the Community Shield twice in his four years as an Arsenal first team player.
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In 2019, he signed for Everton from Arsenal for £34 million. In total, he has made 178 appearances in the Premier League, a number not a lot of professional players get to reach.
He’s also a full time Nigerian international as he made his Super Eagles debut in October 2015 in a game against the DR Congo. Iwobi had represented England’s youth teams while growing up but eventually decided to represent Nigeria at the senior level. In October 2017, he scored the only goal of the game against Zambia, a goal that guaranteed a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia for the Super Eagles.
He won his first and only medal so far for the national team after Nigeria beat Tunisia in the third-place game to clinch bronze at the 2019 African Cup of Nations. Alex Iwobi also won the CAF Youth Player of the Year award in 2016.