The Nigeria international says he’ll fight for his place if the Ivorian joins, but won’t sit on the sidelines
Arsenal wide-man Alex Iwobi claims he may be forced to quit the club if they fulfill their ambition of signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.
The Gunners have made no secret of their desire to sign the 26-year-old Ivory Coast international and have already had a bid of around £40 million ($50m) rejected for a soccer professional the Eagles value at closer to £80 million.
The presence of Zaha would limit Iwobi’s minutes at the Emirates and he says sitting on the sidelines would force hm to consider his position.
“I am not one to chicken out,” the 23-year-old told The Sun. “I have had it all over the years, being told I’m not good enough.
“So whenever the chance comes I always try and prove I should be starting. But it’s going to be difficult if Zaha comes. He will add more stress.
“Obviously my joy has been to play football and not just sit out.
“If it comes to that I would have no choice but to leave. But I would always put up a fight to play – that has been what I’ve done all my life.”
Along with Zaha, pressure has been placed on Iwobi by the promotion of Reiss Nelson to the first-team by manager Unai Emery.
In addition the Gunners have been linked with Brazilians Malcolm and Everton, who also play as wide forwards.
The Ghana international says he’s used to people writing him off and that his preferred position has been in the middle of the field, where he plays for his country.
“I was still at school when I was hearing [I wouldn’t make it at Arsenal],” he added.
“Maybe you think: ‘Football has been not for you and you don’t want to play no more.’ But it’s good to have that self-motivation to believe you can prove your critics wrong.
Article continues below
“But I do play in a different position for Nigeria, as an attacking midfielder with a sense of freedom. I am more comfortable there.
“However, if I’m told to play on the left or the right, or left-back, like I have sometimes, I will always do my best.”