Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi has brandished reports that he has threatened to leave the club as “fake news”.
The potential arrival of Zaha, who is valued at around £80m by Crystal Palace, would add further competition for places for Iwobi, who played more than 50 times in all competitions for Unai Emery’s side last season.
“I am not one to chicken out. I have had it all over the years, being told I’m not good enough,” he is quoted as saying.
“So whenever the chance comes I always try and prove I should be starting. But it’s going to be difficult if Zaha comes. He will add more stress.
“If it comes to that I would have no choice but to leave. But I would always put up a fight to play — that is what I have done all my life.
“We have big stars already, so by adding another one I’ll just have to prove I can do better than them.”
Iwobi also hinted that he was being deployed in the wrong position at club level, where he has sometimes been criticised by fans.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I respect that and I am not one to retaliate.
“But I do play in a different position for Nigeria, as an attacking midfielder with a sense of freedom. I am more comfortable playing there.
“However, if I am told to play on the left or the right, or left-back — like I have sometimes — I will always do my best.”
The 23-year-old has since taken to Twitter to insist that his comments have been taken out of context, and that he hopes Arsenal do sign players of Zaha’s level.
Fake News & Click Bait! I Don’t know Why Some Newspapers Enjoy Twisting Words 🤷🏽♂️🙄. I Hope We Sign World Class Players @Arsenal And Progress As A Team 🙏🏽. I’m Looking Forward To The New Season. Happy Sunday 😊. pic.twitter.com/xcadu8t2kC
— Alexander Iwobi (@alexiwobi) July 21, 2019
Iwobi is under contract at Arsenal until 2022, having signed an extension before the start of last season.
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