The English FA are searching for the right explanation to give following the loss of former youth international Alex Iwobi to Nigeria and it has resulted into blame games.
Iwobi made seven appearances for England at U-16s, three for the U-17s and one for U-18s and by all accounts was happily embedded into the setup. But then the invitations stopped as his last appearance foe England at U-18 level came in October 2013.
After almost two years of waiting he grew tired and registered with Nigeria and after playing in non-binding friendlies he came on as a substitute in Nigeria’s AFCON 2017 qualifiers against Egypt which by FIFA rules he is no longer allowed to switch countries.
Painfully players like Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Isacc Hayden who are not highly regarded by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger like Iwobi are already a step ahead of the 19 year old in the English setup before he opted to go full international for Nigeria.
Their explanation is that England U-19 coach Aidy Boothroyd simply preferred other players as every manager is entitled to snubbing Iwobi in an age group that is regarded as particularly strong.
They further explained that Iwobi preferred Nigeria because he felt more of an emotional attachment to his country of birth and also the influence of his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha a football royalty in Nigeria.
However some section believe that Iwobi was in the England system and the relevant people through carelessness,poor judgment or not being proactive enough made them lose a teenager who is already keeping an established England international Theo Walcott out of the Arsenal team.
Regarded highly by everyone around Arsenal especially after his mind blowing display against Barcelona in the Champions League which was followed by his first senior goal on his first start in the league his loss is certainly Nigeria’s gain.