West Ham: Arsenal sensation rejection; entered race for SPL starlet; match-day build-up
Arsenal’s teen sensation Alex Iwobi has revealed that he, alongside fellow Arsenal youngster Chuba Akpom, came close to joining the Hammers as children before option to sign on with the Gunners instead as he told the Express:
“Arsenal and West Ham were interested in me and Chuba [Akpom], so we were training with both clubs for three years, because we were scouted at six and you can’t sign until you’re nine. I decided to sign for Arsenal because I supported them back then and I always saw them as the bigger club – no disrespect to West Ham.”
The cousin of ex-Bolton magician Jay-Jay Okocha, Iwobi has been hugely impressive since breaking into the Arsenal first team at the tail end of last season. Since then, he has regularly been involved for Arsenal, with his pace and clinical finishing the exact attributes that the Hammers are crying out for and can only wish they had signed on in the form of Iwobi just over a decade ago.
They could look to another young starlet to find those features though, as the Daily Mail report that the Irons are considering a move for Morton striker Jai Quitongo, who has already been heavily scouted by the likes of Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Bournemouth as the 19-year-old continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League.
With six goals to his name and also capable of playing on the left wing as well as as a central striker, Portugal are keen to cap him at under 21 level with Scotland also vying for his international attentions. Having turned down a £100,000 offer from League 2 Doncaster Rovers in the summer, a host of Championship and Premiership clubs have been following him since with a move seeming increasingly likely.
Slaven Bilic has ruled out a return from injury for Andre Ayew for tonight’s clash with Chelsea despite insisting that he will field as strong a side as possible with Aaron Cresswell expected to start having served his suspension having seen red at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.
The game comes too soon for Ayew in the reverse fixture of the tie in which he picked up the thigh injury in the Premier League on his debut, when Chelsea ran out as narrow, and late, victors in a 2-1 win. Sky Sports also report that Chelsea will have captain John Terry back in action for them.
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