Although he has showed in-different form throughout the season, Alex Iwobi has been selected in Nigeria’s provisional 30-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Nigerian Technical Director, Gernot Rohr, announced the selection yesterday (14 May) with the Arsenal forward joining Victor Moses, Kelechi Inhenacho and Wilfred Ndidi as fellow Premier League stars in the Super Eagles squad.
The squad will need to be cut by seven players before the deadline with the 22-year-old expected to hold his place on the plane to Russia, providing he doesn’t pick up an injury in the meantime.
He is seen as vital player for his country and his form in the qualifying campaign and previous friendlies has all but guaranteed his selection into the final squad.
Iwobi has joined fellow Arsenal players Mohamed Elneny, Joel Campbell and former stars Wojciech Szczesny, Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner in the already announced provisional squads for the summer tournament.
Nigeria find themselves in a difficult group alongside Croatia, Iceland and one of the favourites, Argentina.
However, the African team are in confident mood about advancing from their group after beating their South American opponents in a friendly staged in Krasnodar in November. The Gunners youth product took confidence from his performance, getting himself on the scoresheet twice in a 4-2 victory.
So much so, that Iwobi has confessed he has spoken of helping Nigeria to become the first African country to lift the golden trophy come 15 July in the Russian capital.
“Of course, we’ve mentioned it and talked about it so many times in training, on the coach, in the hotel room,” confessed to CNN when talking about the ambitions of the national team.
“But we will take it step by step. Our coach always reminds us that we’re not there yet. We need to prepare right. We’ve done well to get this far, so just be relaxed, be cool and wait for when the times comes.
“It’s always been a dream to play in the biggest competition and there’s no bigger competition than the World Cup to me.”
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