‘There’s no pressure on me’ - Iwobi on ‘playing with freedom’ at Arsenal

The Nigeria international has enjoyed a blissful start to the season, culminating in his nomination for his club’s September Player of the Month award

Alex Iwobi has opened up on his new-found freedom at Arsenal, insisting ‘there is no pressure’ on him as new manager Unai Emery, as well as his teammates,  are in full support of his new style.

On Saturday, the 22-year-old continued in his rich vein of form coming off the bench to make a game-changing impact as the Gunners broke down a resilient Watford.

After the 2-0 victory, Emery spoke on his desire to get the Nigeria international to keep influencing games with goals and assists ; areas Iwobi confirmed he has been working ‘a lot more on’.

“This season I’ve been working a lot more on trying to improve my finishing and also assisting my team-mates which is what I believe someone in my position should do to get to the next level,” Iwobi said ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League game against Qarabag.

“I’ve been focusing on that and also in training, I feel like my teammates have been giving me the freedom to express myself, as well as the new boss. There’s no pressure or weight on my shoulders. I’m just enjoying my football.

“The team is enjoying the new style and the new things we’ve brought into training so it’s not just me that’s enjoying playing with freedom, I’d like to say it’s not just me playing with freedom, it’s my teammates as well.”

Arsenal started their European campaign on a positive note, defeating Vorskla in their group opener.

On Thursday, they look to secure another positive result away at Qarabag, and Iwobi has pointed out how seriously they rate the Europa League.

“Even last year I would like to believe that [we took it seriously], for any competition we participate in, we would take it seriously.

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“However, we’ve had Emile Smith Rowe playing his part in this competition as well, so we still have a lot of players getting involved. We are taking this competition very seriously, as well as every other competition. We’d like to do well in it and go far.”

Iwobi has played 328 minutes in six games and has a goal with two assists to his name. He will look to increase his output in the final third in Baku on Thursday evening.