Nigeria’s world cup hero, Alex Iwobi, who scored the goal that sealed Nigeria’s qualification for Russia had the option to either play for England or Nigeria, but he chose his country of birth.

And his club manager, Arsene Wenger, has revealed why the Arsenal playmaker chose Nigeria over England.

“He had the potential to play for England and for Nigeria,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “Today he looks very happy with Nigeria. When I speak to him, he’s had very positive experiences.

“He brings his quality to Nigeria – he’s absolutely a creative player going forward. He’s very strong in small spaces and he’s starting to score goals as well.

“For a while it was open between England and Nigeria, and England didn’t really push for Alex during that period. Nigeria were more willing to have him. I’ve seen many times that sons of parents from Nigeria want to go back to their parents’ country.”

Iwobi is the nephew of iconic ex-Super Eagles No 10, Jay-Jay Okocha. He was born in Nigeria but grew up in London and has represented England at youth level.

Author: Yemi Olarinre