One of the most prospective stars in the world football, Alex Iwobi has revealed that he thought he would not make it as a footballer.
The 20-year-old broke into Arsenal first team after an impressive debut against Sheffield Wednesday last October.
And he’s gone from strength to strength ever since – even challenging Mesut Ozil for the Emirates assist king crown this year.
Although, he is easily becoming fans favorite for the Gunners, he said he feared for his fledging career when he was a teenager.
“I was almost released at 14, again at 16 and just about got a professional contract after that,” the Nigeria international told the London Evening Standard.
“Especially at 14, I thought I was very close to not making it. It was stressful as I was going through school, trying to balance that and make sure I was still signed for Arsenal. It was really difficult for me.
“We usually found out in December who might be kept on but I kept on getting the question ‘is he good enough?’ So they extended it to see if I could do something and it went to March and then April. Luckily I did enough.
“At 16 I got the option to leave but I always felt at home at Arsenal and that was where I wanted to be. At 16, there were a lot of good players, a few internationals in the team at a young age so it was difficult for me to stand out in the games.
“They always want the best and I wasn’t really up there at that age. The fact that I kept getting chances makes me feel lucky.”
Iwobi continued his strong start to the season in Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League win over Basel on Tuesday night.
Next up for the Gunners is this Sunday’s visit to Premier League newcomers Burnley.