Laurent Koscielny has challenged Alex Iwobi to fulfil his prodigious potential after an impressive start to life at Arsenal under Unai Emery.
Iwobi, 22, struggled to build on his promising start to life under Arsene Wenger after making his debut for Arsenal in 2015 and became a lightning rod for fan frustration last season, where he found the net on only three occasions in 38 appearances.
However the Nigerian international has impressed under Emery, scoring in a 3-2 defeat at Chelsea and taking on a leading role in a 4-2 win over Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday.
Club captain Koscielny pronounced himself impressed with that display but urged Iwobi to repeat it on a regular basis to establish himself in Emery’s plans.
“He has huge potential and he needs to realise how good he could become,” Koscielny wrote in his programme notes ahead of Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Everton.
“Right now, he is definitely on the right path to do just that. He is working hard at training and his confidence is high since Unai Emery arrived.
“If you look at him he has everything. He is strong physically, quick, good technically and his movement is good. He needs to be more efficient and clinical so he scores and assists more.
“He is very receptive and listen to advice so I have no doubt that he will continue his progression.”
Koscielny’s call for Iwobi to make more direct contributions to Arsenal echo those of Wenger, who said last season he expected the youngster to provide 10 goals and a similar number of assists.
A return of three goals and seven assists was not what Wenger had hoped for and led to much criticism, though it should be noted that last term the only Arsenal players with a higher xGBuildup per 90 minutes, a statistic that measures the total expected goals of every possession a player is involved in other than ones that end in a shot or key pass, were Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka, indicating that Iwobi played a crucial role in the Gunners’ build-up play.