Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi has signed a new long-term contract, the Premier League club announced on Friday.
Iwobi has been at the Arsenal academy since he was nine years old and already has 98 first-team appearances at the age of 22.
“I’m very pleased Alex has signed a new contract with us,” Emery said. “He is a great example of a player who can succeed from the Academy through hard work and I look forward to working with him and our other talented young players in the squad.” Iwobi is the latest of Arsenal’s younger players to commit their long-term futures to the club, following the likes of Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and teenage midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.
Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka also signed new deals this year, but Aaron Ramsey’s future remains in doubt as the Welshman has so far refused to accept an offer from the Gunners as he enters the final year of his deal.
Iwobi is the nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha and broke into Arsenal’s first team during the 2015-16 season and impressed with his blend of size, speed and playmaking ability. However, he struggled at times last season and has yet to add an end product to his game.
He has nine goals so far in his 98 appearances and his wasteful finishing has been a source of frustration among fans.
However, the new deal is a sign Emery hopes to help the Nigeria international develop, although he faces stiff competition for a starting place from the likes of Ozil, Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this season.
“To get an extended contract is an amazing feeling and I hope I’m doing the Arsenal family proud,” Iwobi said. “The first kit that I had was Arsenal and long may I continue to represent them.”