Sunday, May 22, 2022

Arsenal Looking To Offer 22 Y/O Midfielder A New Contract: An Astute Move For All Parties Involved?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Arsenal are ready to offer their academy graduate, Alex Iwobi a new contract, extending it until the summer of 2022. The attacking midfielder’s current deal is set to last for the next two seasons only with interest chiming in from SSC Lazio. Both parties have been negotiating terms since the end of the 2017/18 season as Unai Emery plans on heavily utilising Iwobi in the coming season.

The new Gunners boss has pegged the 22-year-old to be a key part of his future plans with the club. Arsenal have already made five signings in Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi this summer. Now, the club is looking to solidify the core group of players with long-term contracts.

Granit Xhaka has already signed an extension with Aaron Ramsey still amidst negotiations with the club. Mesut Ozil recently signed a mammoth deal which will see him bank £350,000 a week until the summer of 2021. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also recently been acquired on an exchange deal for Alexis Sanchez.

Iwobi might just be deserving of an improved deal since his breakout to the Gunners first team. The 22-year-old made his debut on 27th October 2015 in the 3-0 Carabao Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday. He did have an impressive start to his professional career and have appeared in 98 games for Arsenal already.

However, somewhere down the line fans might agree that the Nigerian has not completely met his lofty expectations. He scored thrice and set up 7 assists this past season while making 39 appearances for the side. He is versatile and was utilised from a number of positions on the offensive end of the pitch. Iwobi’s team selection increased in number after the departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez.

He has a remarkable technical ability and a decent creative bone to carve out a prominent role in the Arsenal ranks. However, his development has not slowed down over the past two seasons despite receiving decent playing time. 

Read More: AS Roma Zoning In On Experienced Arsenal Keeper: Should The Gunners Let Him Leave?

With the likes of Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey in the club ranks, it is unlikely that the 22-year-old will find a starting spot in his most preferred number ten position. He can feature from the wings as well but does not have the pace to really be impactful on a regular basis. Iwobi is still young and certainly brings strength to the club ranks. Signing him to a new deal certainly helps in both ways.

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