Iwobi makes senior Nigeria debut; Maitland-Niles scores for England U19s



Alex Iwobi may not yet be a member of the Arsenal first-team squad, but the winger is already a senior international after he made his full Nigeria debut today.

The 19-year-old, who signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal this week, replaced Ahmed Musa as a substitute during Nigeria’s 2-0 defeat to DR Congo.

Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was introduced as a substitute and promptly scored with a header as England U19s beat Macedonia U19s 2-0.

Maitland-Niles replaced fellow Arsenal youngster Dan Crowley, who was making his first appearance for the Three Lions since 2013. Tafari Moore was named in the original squad but missed out through injury.

Yesterday Chris Willock, Kaylen Hinds and Stephy Mavididi all scored as England U17s thrashed DR Congo U17s 8-0. The youngsters will represent their country at the upcoming U17 World Cup, although the in-form Ben Sheaf hasn’t been selected.

Ismael Bennacer started and played just over an hour as France U19s beat Liechenstein U19s 3-1. Les Bleus take on their Gibraltar counterparts tomorrow.

Glen Kamara could feature tomorrow when Finland U21s take on Germany U21s.

Krystian Bielik hasn’t been called up to the Poland U21 squad but will instead represent his country at U19 level against Italy.

Hugo Keto was an un-used substitute as Finland U19s drew 1-1 with Italy U19s.

Hector Bellerin was an un-used substitute yesterday as Spain U21s beat Georgia U21s 5-2.



  1. Don’t know if choosing to represent nigeria will help his alex iwobi career at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has slowly got rid of the cup of nation player and is reluctant to sign any regardless of there qualities.
    The interruption in the middle of the season seen to be too much of a problem, time will tell if this is the case.

    1. If the ANC was a problem then why did he buy Kanu, Toure, Adebayor, Eboue, and Gervinho, in the first place? The reason he got rid of them had absolutely nothing to do with the ANC. If you honestly believe that then you haven’t been paying attention bro.

  2. True Gunner assuming AW is still with Arsenal when the 2022 world cup comes around there must be hope for both the non internationals or academy players as that season will be well and truly disrupted. Typical European bias to world football

    1. True gunner is just posting his opinion and I am of the same opinion. Yes wenger signed African ayers in the past. But it is not a bias to Europe that he doesn’t sign them now, it is simply because losing ayers for so many matches during a season when u already suffer the injuries that your club does not make logical sense. That and the fact that there are not many Africans tearing it up now anyway.

      I am certain that if the quality was there though wenger would still consider signing an African player. As for iwobi, of course missing 6 weeks every other season will not help his career, but it was his decision, if u feel that u are Nigerian rather than English then u should play for Nigeria, but my own opinion is that you should make that decision earlier and not play England youth matches at the expense of others who do want to play for England.

      I am more concerned for Jenkinson, who was talked in to leaving Finland by Hodgson to play for England and now that he is a much better player is being over looked.

  3. True gunner. Yes it may be a problem and as you say, AW has had enough of the ACN every 2 years. We all expected it to change to 4 years when it gained enough size and quality but it is the African associations cash cow and they are continuing to milk it as much as they can.
    Very few of the TOP teams are considering any players from that continent unless they are A+ quality (Yaya Toure level) and the others all seem to be playing at a level just below.
    Iwobis connection to Nigeria is strong and lets hope he’s an A+ quality player or else he could end up with a mid-table club in the future.

  4. Someone’s something, AW was a big supporter of African football but now it has improved it’s level, it needs to change to 4 years. Top teams cannot lose their players in the middle of a season (euro season) when they should be playing for the club. We are no different. I doubt AW will buy more than 1 or 2 players from that continent in future for this reason. The insistence of the ACN being every 2 years is starting to hold back the African players. They rarely get bought by the top clubs and that will continue until the ACN is moved to 4 yearly.

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