Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi: Unai Emery has shown a lot of faith in me

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The Nigeria international has enjoyed increased playing time at the Gunners since the arrival of the Spanish tactician

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi has lauded manager Unai Emery for believing in his abilities.

The Spanish tactician succeeded Arsene Wenger at the helm of the London club following the Frenchman's departure at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Emery has managed a decent start to life with the Gunners, as they finished fifth on the Premier League table and qualified for the final of the Europa League in his debut season.  

Under the 47-year-old's watch, Iwobi has made 50 appearances across all competitions with four goals to his name.

The Nigeria international revealed his initial fears following Emery's arrival and how the gaffer has impacted him and the rest of the team.

“I didn’t know what it was going to be like when he came,” Iwobi told Evening Standard.

“I can’t lie, it was a bit weird [at first] because I grew into the system playing under Arsene Wenger and that is all I have known.

“But when he did come — I came late to pre-season as I was at the World Cup — he spoke to me and said what ideas he had for me.

"I have bought into them and I’ve played in a lot of matches and he has shown a lot of faith in me. I thank him for that.

“Especially at a young age, to be involved in as many games makes me proud, but I have still got a long way to go and I am sure he has a lot more years at the club as well.

“You can see everyone is fighting, not just for us, but for him. He has a good chemistry with the players and you can see that in his time here.

“To get us to a final, he has had the right tactics and the right players at the right time. We will do our best to win the final for him as well.”

Iwobi will have a chance to clinch his first title of the season when the Gunners face Chelsea in an all-English Europa League final on May 29.

“I had many dreams of winning things for Arsenal at a young age. I never thought I would make it this far,” he continued.

“But to have an opportunity to play in such a big final is great for me, but also to show that youth and Arsenal academy [players] have a chance to play at this level.

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“There are a lot of opportunities and if you keep on believing you can make it even better than me.”

Iwobi has been included in Nigeria's 25-man provisional squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The three-time African champions have been drawn in Group B along with Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar.

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