Alex Iwobi has revealed how England failed in a last-ditch bid to switch countries back from Nigeria.
The Arsenal midfielder, 21, played in Three Lions youth teams before deciding to play international football for the country where he was born.
He said, “As I was about to play my first match for Nigeria, Roy Hodgson was in contact with Arsenal saying ‘we’d like him to get involved with Under-21s’ but my mind was made up. It’s my decision.
“Originally, I’m from Nigeria. I always felt comfortable there. It was a hard decision because I’d played for England but I felt more at home there. When I first went they treated me like royalty, like a king. It’s a big thing there to play for Arsenal too.”
Iwobi broke into the team two years ago and is looking to hit the heights of his breakthrough campaign.
He said, “I have a point to prove. I didn’t play as much as I’d like to last year. I want to start the season with a bang.
“I’ve been doing a bit of running and ball work to prepare. I need to be a bit more hungry this year, add more goals and assists.
“At the start of last season I played a lot. I want to do that all year. Consistency is the key with me.
“Goals win games. I need to add that. Arsene Wenger spoke to me towards the end of last season and said ‘show me you’re able to do that and I’ll give you a chance.”