Arsenal's latest break through star Alex Iwobi is likely to miss the start of next season's Premier League after he made known his intentions of representing Nigeria in the 2016 Rio Olympics in August this year. The striker could miss the first few weeks of the 2016/17 campaign if he is called up to the squad, with the football tournament starting on 3 August.
The Rio tournament starts ten days before the start of the Premier League, and if Nigeria reach the latter stages, he could be on national duty at least until 20 August. Iwobi broke into the Gunners senior set up this season and has gone onto deliver some impressive performances, including scoring two goals in his two starts against Everton and Watford on 19 March and 2 April respectively.
The young Nigerian has already overtaken Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell as the manager's preferred choice in attack alongside Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud. The 19-year-old's performances have also seen him make his competitive debut for his national team in the recently concluded international break, and since revealed his ambition to represent his country in the Olympics and take part in the World Cup qualifiers. Nigeria have a good history in Olympic football and won gold in 1996 with Iwobi's uncle Jay Jay Okocha in the squad.
"I am looking forward to the forthcoming Olympics and if I am invited, I will do my best to make a meaningful contribution," Iwobi said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"I believe that Nigeria has a crop of excellent players who are capable of doing great things at the Olympics. Coach Samson Siasia deserves a lot of praise for securing a place for the nation at the Olympics."
"I do not have any regrets whatsoever in opting to play for Nigeria and will always do my best whenever I put on the green white green colours of Nigeria. I hope to be involved in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers too," the Nigeria international added.