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Do it Emery – It’s high time Arsenal unleash their resurgent academy product to reap rich rewards

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Opinion – It is time for Unai Emery to play Alex Iwobi regularly

After a subdued start, Arsenal are flying at the moment with regards to getting wins and building momentum. New manager Unai Emery is slowly but surely instilling his style of play into the squad and we are able to see the positive outcomes.

The Gunners have won their last seven games in all competitions, five in the league and once each in Carabao Cup and the Europa League. Hence, after the Manchester City and Chelsea defeats, they are building the right impetus which would help them in the coming weeks.

Emery has stuck to his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mesut Ozil on the right, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left and Aaron Ramsey as a No.10 behind Alexandre Lacazette. In the midfield, Lucas Torreira is now starting alongside Granit Xhaka in a double pivot.

However, there is one player who really seems different when compared to previous seasons – Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian is the club’s academy product who made his debut under Arsene Wenger. However, until the end of last season, we were unsure of what the 22-year-old brings to this team.

Alex Iwobi, Arsenal
Alex Iwobi

Since the arrival of Emery though, we have witnessed a change of attitude from the winger/attacking midfielder. He is showing the extra determination to play well and nail down his spot in the first-team. He has started the cup games and looked distinct when compared to the previous seasons.

The Nigerian is pressing more off the ball to win back possession, which is what Emery prefers. He is showing quality on the ball as well, driving past defenders and creating chances for the team.

Arsenal need a winger to play regularly

If we look at the Arsenal squad, they lack genuine wingers who can stay wide and stretch the defence. Iwobi is one such player who plays in wide areas and has shown this season that he is determined to keep his place.

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Hence, instead of playing Ramsey at No.10 and pushing Ozil to the wing, it would make sense for Emery to play the German in a central role, which is where he likes to operate, and drop the Welshman.

This could open up the slot for Iwobi to start on the right wing. And for what it’s worth, the 22-year-old deserves to get an extended run in the league games.