Jay-Jay Okocha says Alex Iwobi should fight for Arsenal starting role
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 21/04/17 5:46pm
Jay-Jay Okocha thinks his nephew Alex Iwobi should stay and fight for a first-team place at Arsenal rather than leaving on loan.
After regularly starting earlier in the season, Iwobi, 20, has found opportunities harder to come by in 2017.
But former Bolton midfielder Okocha, who will be playing for Nigeria at the Star Sixes tournament at The O2 in July, thinks staying at Arsenal would be best for Iwobi.
"We can't forget that this is his first full season in the first team and Arsenal have all their players back now. There's a lot of competition, so it's not easy," he told Sky Sports.
"He has had a good season. It's not easy to make it through from the academy into the first team at such a big club. He has achieved this and has been phenomenal; I am delighted with what he has achieved so far.
"I think it's better for him to stay at Arsenal, because the style of play suits him perfectly. It might not be easy for him to go on loan and adapt somewhere else. He needs to stay and fight for his shirt."
Okocha will be one of a host of former Premier League stars competing at Star Sixes in July.
Steven Gerrard, Carles Puyol, Michael Ballack, Deco and Robert Pires will also be in action at the indoor six-a-side tournament.
"I'm very excited for it," said Okocha. "I think I will be in my comfort zone.
"Everybody is looking forward to showing that we can still play a little bit. There are a lot of good players and it will be interesting.
"It's all about meeting old colleagues, having fun and competing again without too much pressure. It's going to be fun."
Jay-Jay Okocha will play for Nigeria at Star Sixes, a new world six-a-side tournament for legends at The O2, London, July 13-16. Tickets, starting at just £30 adults and £10 U16s, are on sale at: www.starsixes.com