Iwobi must step up in Mkhitaryan's absence - Martin Keown

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The Nigeria midfielder is in line to make another appearance as the Gunners look to finish off their Russian counterparts for a place in the last four

With Henrikh Mkhitaryan out injured, Martin Keown has called on Alex Iwobi to step up his game ahead of Arsenal Uefa Europa League clash against CSKA Moscow on Thursday evening.

The playmaker has been ruled out for the Gunners after limping off in their 4-1 victory over the Russian outfit in the first leg of the quarter-final tie.

And Keown, who expressed his reservation towards Iwobi’s output, has called on the Nigeria international who impressed in the No. 10 role against Southampton at the weekend to 'deliver'.

“If anything, this week Arsenal should focus,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“They cannot afford to take liberties in this match.

“CSKA Moscow will take a leaf out of Roma’s book and try to recreate an intimidating atmosphere, but they showed in the first leg they’re at their best when they’re flying forward.

“That will leave space for Arsenal to exploit and I fancy them to score goals, even with Henrikh Mkhitaryan out. His season-ending knee injury is such a disappointment. He’s already made himself indispensable. He’s so nimble and creative, and his absence leaves a void.

“Without him, it’s time for Alex Iwobi to deliver. He has been in the first team for three seasons now but has not really trained on.

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“He’s neat and tidy but is not decisive enough. He’s scored more goals for Nigeria than Arsenal this season – two goals in 32 games is not good enough for an attacking player, even if a lot of those are from the bench.”

Keown - Iwobi PS

 

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