Super Eagles Playmaker Iwobi Reveals What He Learnt From Retired Duo Mikel And Ighalo
Published: May 25, 2020
Super Eagles Playmaker Iwobi Reveals What He Learnt From Retired Duo Mikel And Ighalo
Everton star Alex Iwobi has admitted that he admires Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel and Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo and understudied the duo before they called time on their international careers immediately after last year's Africa Cup of Nations.

The Hale End Academy product is capable of playing as a winger, attacking midfielder and second striker and had to wait for four years before he got anointed as the Super Eagles playmaker following the retirement of Mikel.

Iwobi, who was born in Lagos but got his footballing education in England, was most impressed by Mikel's physicality during his time with the national team.

"I have learnt a lot from Mikel because we play similar positions. Whenever I'm called I play behind the striker, that's where he likes to play," Iwobi said in an Instagram conversation with the Super Eagles Media Team monitored by allnigeriasoccer.com.

"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 because playing in African culture there's a lot more physicality, there's 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 grabbed the headlines at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, finishing as top scorer with five goals.

Iwobi has identified the qualities of the Manchester United star which could make the current Super Eagles strikers better finishers.

"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.

"It's almost like when he's clean through on goal, ninety percent 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, 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," added Iwobi.

A former England U16 international, Iwobi played his cap-tying game for Nigeria in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt in March 2016.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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