London - Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger has explained why Alex Iwobi was never shipped
out on loan, saying the Nigerian has maturity beyond his years.
Top Premier League clubs are willing to send their rising stars out on
loan to gain experience at a lesser level, but the rising Super Eagles
forward went straight in the deep end.
"Everybody's career is different, the maturing phase is different for everyone," Wenger said of the 20-year-old from Lagos.
"Some stand still and then suddenly have an acceleration in the speed
of their maturity which allows them to get straight into the first
The French coach recently spoke of his dislike for having too many
players out on loan, saying that for rich clubs the "reflex is to
stockpile the players".
"Some take advantage of situations where players are injured. You
give them a chance and they don't need to go through the loan step
because they have been given an acceleration to the first team."
Wenger's side welcome city-rivals Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium in a New Year's Day fixture as they look to keep up with pace-setters Chelsea.
Kick off is at 18:00.