Alex Iwobi Reveals What he Learnt from Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo’s influence on his career

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Everton forward Alex Iwobi has revealed that he has learnt a lot from former Nigeria national team players Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo. He described his time with the duo in the Super Eagles of Nigeria as a blessing to his career.

Alex Iwobi met Mikel Obi in the Super Eagles in 2015 while he was just 19-year-old. The 24-year-old forward joined the national team the same year Odion Ighalo joined the team.

Alex Iwobi’s Lessons from Mikel Obi

Alex Iwobi's Lessons from Mikel Obi
Alex Iwobi and Mikel Obi in action for the Super Eagles

Just like he was extremely successful in Chelsea football club, Mikel Obi was also successful with the National team. In his 14 years reign with the Super Eagles, the midfielder helped Nigeria to come third in three occasions and finally won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. Mikel also helped the country to win Under 20 World Cup silver medal and Olympic bronze model.

“I have learnt a lot from Mikel because we play similar positions”, Iwobi said in an Instagram Live discourse. “Whenever I’m called I play behind the striker, that’s where he likes to play.

“In training, whilst watching him on the pitch, whilst I’m on the bench watching him, I’ve always learned, the way he’s physically capable to keep the ball in tight situations.

“Playing in African culture there’s a lot more physicality, there are a lot more strong duels, the way he’s able to use his body is something I have picked up and try to add to my game.”

Ighalo’s influence on Alex Iwobi

Ighalo's influence on Alex Iwobi
Left: Iheanacho, Ighalo and Iwobi while on national duty

In the case of Ighalo, he can be regarded as a late bloomer in the national team fold as he started his senior international career when he was 25-year-old. Though the Manchester United’s loanee started late, he still had to bow out from the team at 30 years old because of criticism on social media which he couldn’t handle.

Despite the short time he spent with the national team, he left a great impression in the mind of Alex Iwobi who left Arsenal football club to join Everton in 2019.

“With Ighalo, the composure he has when he’s in the box when he has the opportunity to score, I’m trying to add to my game,” Alex Iwobi said.

“It’s almost like when he’s clean through on goal, 9per cent of the time the ball is in the back of the net and not with a lot of power but with finesse and style to it.

“Hopefully, that’s something that not just me but the youngsters like Victor [Osimhen], it is something that we have to put a lot of respect for.

“Both of them talk to you, they try to help everyone, it was a blessing to play with both of them.”