Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi nearly joined Premier League rivals West Ham as a youth, the Nigerian international has revealed.
The 20-year-old nephew of former Super Eagles star Jay-Jay Okocha broke into Arsenal’s first team last season and has become a valued member of the squad so far this term.
Although Iwobi has been on the books of Arsenal since he was nine years old, during his primary school days he did have the opportunity to sign for the Irons.
“There were a lot of good players at my school, like my Arsenal team-mate Chuba Akpom,” Iwobi told Match of the Day magazine.
“Everyone loved football at my first primary school.
“[But I was scouted] playing for my local Sunday league team, Rippleway.
“My dad heard that a scout was there to watch me and Chuba – we were just playing and didn’t think anything of it.
“Arsenal and West Ham were interested in me and Chuba [Akpom], so we were training with both clubs for three years, because we were scouted at six and you can’t sign until you ’re nine.
“I decided to sign for Arsenal because I supported them back then and I always saw them as the bigger club – no disrespect to West Ham.”