Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi has signed a new long-term contract with the club. Iwobi, 19, had been eager to leave the North London side on a loan deal in order to secure greater first team chances for himself, according to his father, but after impressing for the Gunners during pre-season is now hoping to break into the first team in north London.
"I'm delighted to have signed a new contract, especially with a club like Arsenal who are so big," he told Arsenal.com. "I'm happy to sign for them. I like to think I have earned it. I have gone through a lot with Arsenal so to have a new and improved contract is very good and I'm happy to have earned it.
"I have had ups and downs. As I was growing up I had a lot of downs but as I get older things just keep getting better and better. The ultimate goal is to break into the first team and play as many games as I can."
Iwobi, described as a "powerful forward" by the club, made rapid progress in the club's Under-21 ranks last season, notching up nine goals in the last nine games of the season. The forward's father, Chuka, recently revealed talks were ongoing with a number of English sides over a loan move for his son, who he claims is keen on a temporary move away from the Emirates.
"A few clubs in the United Kingdom and abroad have approached Arsenal to take Alex on loan but Arsene Wenger wants him to be with the first team because he did very well in pre-season," Chuka Iwobi told Goal.
"Alex's preferred option at this stage is to go on loan to gain first team experience and come back to Arsenal later on to fight for a place. Hopefully a loan move will be sorted out by the time Alex comes back from international duties. As regards to the likely club Alex will play for on loan, at the moment discussions are ongoing."