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Alex Iwobi opted to play for Nigeria after talk with uncle Jay Jay Okocha and vows to celebrate his next goal with African dance

  • Teenager Alex Iwobi has broken into Arsenal’s first XI this season 
  • Gunners starlet has snubbed England to represent country of birth Nigeria
  • He has vowed to celebrate his next Premier League goal with African dance

Arsenal starlet Alex Iwobi revealed he decided to ‘follow my heart’ by turning his back on England to represent the country of his birth Nigeria – following in the footsteps of his uncle Jay Jay Okocha.

The 19-year-old, who has broken into the Gunners’ first XI this season, was born in Lagos but has lived in London since he was an infant and played for England at youth level.

However, Iwobi revealed that a conversation with his father and uncle, the former Bolton midfielder, convinced him to pledge his international allegiance to the Super Eagles.

Iwobi decided to choose the Super Eagles after a talk with his father and uncle Jay Jay Okocha (above)

Iwobi decided to choose the Super Eagles after a talk with his father and uncle Jay Jay Okocha (above)

 

Iwobi scores again…just don’t know how to express how I feel now..Well done Alex..

— Jay-Jay Okocha (@IAmOkocha) April 2, 2016

Iwobi came on as s substitute to make his debut for Nigeria in the 1-0 defeat by Egypt last month

Iwobi came on as s substitute to make his debut for Nigeria in the 1-0 defeat by Egypt last month

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Speaking to SunSport, Iwobi said: ‘I understand why some England fans are surprised with my decision.

‘It was a difficult one to make, one I thought very carefully about. I have no regrets.

‘I have always been part of the England youth set-up and have 11 caps at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 levels.

 

‘But when I was first invited by the Nigeria FA, my dad told me to follow my heart and that is what I have done.’

The youngster made his international debut for Nigeria against Egypt last month.  

The 19-year-old scores against Watford for his second Premier League goal in as many games

The 19-year-old scores against Watford for his second Premier League goal in as many games

Iwobi trains with Arsenal team-mate Hector Bellerin ahead of the weekend's clash with West Ham

Iwobi trains with Arsenal team-mate Hector Bellerin ahead of the weekend’s clash with West Ham

Iwobi, who scored his first Premier League goals against Everton and Watford before signing a new contract at the Emirates until 2021, is expected to play against West Ham on Saturday as Arsenal bid to keep their faint title hopes alive. 

Should he find the back of the net again, Iwobi has promised to celebrate with an African dance. 

He said: ‘Scoring my first against Everton was fantastic — it was amazing hearing the Arsenal fans chanting my name. I am planning to do an African dance for my next goal.

‘I love African music. I have loads of African songs and I will leave the fans to judge when I perform my first one.’

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