Alex Iwobi could miss Arsenal’s opening Premier League game of the season if Nigeria reach the latter stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The tournament ends in Cairo, Egypt on July 19, just 21 days before the new season begins.
Nigeria is among the favourites to reach the final – as well as host, Egypt, who has Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in their ranks.
football.london understands that Arsenal intend to give all of their players three weeks off after the international duties, which would leave any player involved in AFCON facing a major race to be available for the season opener away to Newcastle on August 11.
Iwobi was a consistent presence in Unai Emery’s side last season, ranking in the top 10 for minutes played last season and featuring for longer than Aaron Ramsey, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Mesut Ozil.
The Nigerian international showed signs of improvement under Emery last season, producing his best return of goals (six) and assists (nine).