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Alex Iwobi staged meetings with Southampton prior to his decision to agree a scholarship deal with Arsenal, according to the Evening Standard.
The Nigerian international has burst onto the first-team scene at the Emirates Stadium in recent seasons and has since established himself as a key member of the Gunners’ squad.
However, it could have been a far different pathway to senior football for Iwobi, who has recently discussed how uncertain his future was during his younger days.
It is reported that the winger held discussions with a number of clubs before committing his future to Arsenal, with Southampton among those who were keen.
Celtic and Crystal Palace are also named by the Evening Standard as teams who had once threw their respective hats into the ring as Iwobi’s situation in North London came under scrutiny.
Reflecting on his decision to stay put at Arsenal, the 22-year-old said:
I felt that maybe I wasn’t rated at Arsenal but I always felt at home here, so I signed the scholarship forms. Then it was all about proving people wrong.