By Matt Farr
Arsenal and Nigeria winger Alex Iwobi has been named Youth Player of the Year by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The 20-year-old made his breakthrough at Arsenal last season, but has established himself as a first-team regular and Arsene Wenger-favourite this term.
He has made 24 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this term, contributing three goals and three assists.
CAF revealed the award winner via their official Twitter account on Thursday night.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 5, 2017
Iwobi has also become a central figure for the Nigeria national team, making eight appearances for the senior side and scoring one goal, having previously represented England at youth level.
Arsenal fans have been full of praise for Iwobi this season, and took to social media to congratulate their young star on his achievement.
Here are some of their messages on Twitter:
— Weddy Njoan (@RamseyScored) January 5, 2017
Congratulations to Iwobi winning African Youth Player of the year
— • (@goonerStevie) January 5, 2017
— Arsenal Pakistan SC (@ArsenalPakSC) January 5, 2017
Great achievement for Iwobi to be named best young African footballer over Kelechi tbh
— DS🇲🇽 (@Arti11ero) January 5, 2017
— The Arsenal (@DareToWenger) January 5, 2017
— AbdulBaki (@BakkyAFC) January 5, 2017
@Arsenal our Players are making us Proud. Congrats to Shiola and Alex Iwobi
— Ezenekwe Sampson (@KestinoLee) January 5, 2017
While the Africa Cup of Nations is set to take place this month, Arsene Wenger will still have Iwobi at his disposal as Nigeria failed to qualify for the competition.
His prolonged availability is a major boost to the Gunners boss, who will be looking to rotate his options as they seek to challenge on three different fronts.
Arsenal face Preston in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, before their Premier League title challenge resumes on January 14.
They face Bayern Munich, meanwhile, in the Champions League knockout-stages on February 15.
The Youth Player of the Year award was first introduced in 2014, and Iwobi is the third Nigerian international to win the award.