Mikel Arteta surprised by Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi

The youngster is highly rated at the Emirates and the Spaniard is one team-mate who is impressed.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta says he was surprised that youngster Alex Iwobi can play in midfield.

The young striker is highly rated at the Emirates, with many predicting a bright future in a forward role.

He has showed glimpses of that quality for the first team in recent weeks, with a 20-minute cameo during the 0-0 draw with Stoke, as well as a start against Sunderland in the FA Cup.

He featured in midfield for the Under-21s earlier this month alongside Arteta, though, and the skipper says he was surprised by the youngster’s ability.

"I was surprised he could play in central midfield as well," he told arsenal.com.

"He is versatile and that's a massive attribute because forwards don't normally have that 360 vision that you need in midfield.

"Alex is capable of reading the game well, understanding his positioning and his body shape when he plays. That's fairly unusual for a player who plays on the wing or up front. That will be important for his development."

Having had a taste of first-team football recently, Iwobi will no doubt be keen to get more minutes under his belt this season.

That is unlikely to come in the Arsenal first team, however, with a number of players already ahead of him and the likes of Jack Wilshere, Arteta and Tomas Rosicky all to come back from injury.

Perhaps a loan move would be ideal for him at this stage, with a number of Championship sides sure to be keen on him joining until the end of the season. But there is still plenty for the teenager to learn in first-team training with the Gunners.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch