Nigerian international Alex Iwobi has declared his intention to represent Nigeria at the Rio Olympics this summer. The Arsenal forward could miss the start of next season if he gets on the plane to Rio with the Dream Team VI of Nigeria. The 19-year-old, who has two goals in two Premier League starts for the Gunners, made his competitive debut for Nigeria last month and now wants to play for the Under-23 side in Rio. The men’s Olympic football schedule runs from August 4 to August 20, meaning not only would Iwobi be likely to miss Arsenal’s pre-season but also the first month of Premier League action. “I am looking forward to the forthcoming Olympics and if I am invited, I will do my best to make a meaningful contribution,” Iwobi said. “I believe that Nigeria has a crop of excellent players who are capable of doing great things at the Olympics. Coach Samson Siasia deserves a lot of praise for securing a place for the nation at the Olympics.”
The news is unlikely to please Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, but the Frenchman can at least take solace from the fact that Iwobi will not take part in the African Cup of Nations after Nigeria failed to qualify. “It was a massive disappointment for the team that we did not qualify for the forthcoming African Cup Nations,” Iwobi added. “The coaches and players worked so hard to gain the ticket but it’s a shame we didn’t get through. We conceded a late goal in Kaduna and unfortunately we were unable to convert our chances in the second leg in Egypt.”
Coach Siasia, put Iwobi on the plane to Rio already!!!!!